Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Historical Theology

Scripture References in this Resource

Matthew 13:16; Luke 10:23; John 3:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18


Reifsteck, Joshua P. “Contemplative Vision: Visual Language in the Sermons of Johannes Tauler.” STM Thesis, Concordia Seminary, 2022. 91 pp.

Johannes Tauler conceives of thought, contemplation, and mystical experience in visual ways, and this conception manifests in visual language and metaphor throughout Tauler’s preaching corpus. This visual language is influenced heavily by Neoplatonic conceptions of contemplation and the One, and by an interior-exterior tension within Tauler’s anthropology which is especially significant for his portrayal of the senses. This thesis focuses especially upon a group of Middle High German words related to the verb schoͮwen. These words are technical terms, describing a contemplative vision which is for Tauler an integral part of the life of faith. Through this contemplative vision, the individual turns within, gazes into the ground of the soul, and attempts to see God himself. In the practice of this inward gaze, the individual finds and clears away that which is not God, in the hopes of not only seeing God, but uniting with him in the abyss, where all sense and self is lost.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.