Free Online Bible Library | Theologia Germanica

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Theologia Germanica

An anonymous treatise probably originating in the late fourteenth century. It was written in the mystical tradition of the late Middle Ages associated with the names of Tauler* and Eckhart.* It emphasized humility, self- negation, and a mystical union with God. The work impressed Martin Luther, who thought he found in it precedents for his own theology, and he published an incomplete edition in 1516. In 1518 he published a complete edition with a preface in which he stated: “no book except the Bible and St. Augustine has come to my attention from which I have learned more about God, Christ, man and all things.” The book does not in fact teach Luther's theology, but reveals the influence of a number of medieval theological traditions. It was placed on the Index* in 1621, although it contained nothing that made it antithetical to the doctrine of the Medieval Church. Since the Reformation it has appealed to a wide variety of different groups, including later German Pietists. Over 150 printed editions of the work have been identified since its first publication. An English translation by Susanna Winkworth with introduction and notes by W.R. Trask was published in 1949.

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