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Document Details :
Title: Participation in Inner-Trinitarian Communion
Subtitle: The Golden Epistle's Impact on Johannes Tauler's Concept of the Unio Mystica
Author(s): MYERS, Glenn E.
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 25 Date: 2015
In his eighty-some extant sermons, the fourteenth-century Dominican preacher, Johannes Tauler, depicts the possibility of the human soul’s participation in the Inner-Trinitarian communion of the Godhead. Building upon the thought of the twelfth-century Cistercian, William of Saint Thierry, Tauler locates such participation in the third or unitive stage of spiritual growth. William’s concept of the unio mystica, and especially his depiction of God’s knowing Godself in the human soul, stamps Tauler’s theological synthesis in a profoundly Trinitarian way. Juxtaposing passages from William’s Golden Epistle and Tauler’s sermons, this article demonstrates the Cistercian Father’s imprint on the German Dominican. Referred to as the ‘unity of the Spirit’ by both mystagogues, such oneness is effected by the Holy Spirit. This mystical union with the Divine is characterized by the spiritual sweetness found in the ‘Father and Son’s kiss and embrace’, and the one who has experienced such union will never fall from faith. At times the human spirit is taken above itself into God in ecstasy where it participates in the Inner-Trinitarian intimacy. Here the human person is deified. Into such unio mystica Tauler’s sermons relentlessly invite his listeners – then as now – that they might be divinized, becoming by grace what God is by nature.