Friends of God  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Friends of God (German: Gottesfreunde) was a Middle Age lay mystical group (though it was never an organized sect) and a center of German mysticism. It was founded between 1339 and 1343 in Basel, Switzerland, and was also fairly important in Strasbourg and Cologne, because around those times, some of the area was placed under a Papal interdict. It was led by two members of the Dominican order, the preacher John Tauler and the writer Blessed Henry Suso.

The name "Friends of God" most likely alludes to a passage of the Gospel of John 15:15: "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) also takes its name from that passage.

When Rulman Merswin was the leader of the group, its reputation in the church began to deteriorate. After Merswin's death, Nicholas of Basel became the leader. He was eventually burned at the stake at Vienna in 1409 for heresy.

Another prominent member, Martin of Mainz was also burned for heresy.

It seems that the group disappeared around that time, but some see it as a precursor of the Protestant Reformation.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Friends of God" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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