Three Friends of God: Records from the Lives of John Tauler, Nicholas of Basle, Henry Suso
by Frances Bevan
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The Friends of God are an informal group of Catholic
mystics who organized themselves in Germany and Switzerland in the early
14th century. These Friends strove to deepen both their communal
relationships as well as their inner spirituality. Tauler was a master
of combining the mystical with the concrete, the spiritual with the
practical. He taught that each human has a desire for God which is
satisfied through detachment from earthly things. Suso also believed
that to achieve perfect, soul-level union with God, a person had to die
to himself and become detached from the world. History provides a "very
imperfect sketch" of Nicholas Basle according to Bevan. For many years,
Basle was thought to be the mysterious "Master" described in many of the
Friends' documents, but it was later discovered that the Master was a
fictional character. Bevan's book is a biographical narrative of these
three Friends' lives complete with dialogue. They discuss numerous
facets of Catholicism and mysticism, and readers interested in these
subjects will enjoy the work.
CCEL Staff Writer
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