Suso, Heinrich

Suso, Heinrich

(hīn`rĭkh zo͞o`zō), c.1295–1366, German mystic, a Dominican friar, also known as Henry Suso. While studying at Cologne he came under the influence of Meister EckhartEckhart, Meister
(Johannes Eckhardt), c.1260–c.1328, German mystical theologian, b. Hochheim, near Gotha. He studied and taught in the chief Dominican schools, notably at Paris, Strasbourg, and Cologne, and held a series of offices in his order.
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, whose writings he defended against charges of heresy. He became a popular preacher and was associated with Johannes TaulerTauler, Johannes
, c.1300–1361, German mystic. He was a Dominican. He met Meister Eckhart, either at Strasbourg or in Cologne, where he went to study, and he was one of Eckhart's disciples. He also knew Heinrich Suso.
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. At first harshly ascetic, he gradually emphasized detachment rather than mortification as central in the Christian discipline. His mysticism was expressed in terms of the contemporary literary romantic cult of the minnesingers. This gave him the epithet Sweet Suso. His writings include Das Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit [the little book of eternal wisdom], an autobiography and a guide to beginners in the spiritual life; Das Minnebüchlein [the little book of love]; a scholarly defense of Eckhart and an attack on the BeghardsBeghards
, religious associations of men in Europe, organized similarly to the Beguines. They resembled a Franciscan group, with whom they were later often confused. Of unknown origin, they first appeared at Louvain in 1220 and soon spread throughout the Netherlands and into
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 and Brethren of the Free Spirit; and miscellaneous sermons. He was beatified in 1831. His autobiography is not of certain authenticity; it purports to be made from notes taken from his oral accounts and then edited by him.

Bibliography

See T. F. Knox, The Life of Blessed Heinrich Suso by Himself (1913); J. M. Clark, The Great German Mystics (1949, repr. 1970).

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