Johannes Bours

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Johannes Bours (born March 21, 1913 in Elten , Niederrhein (today Emmerich am Rhein ), † February 1, 1988 in Coesfeld , Westphalia ) was a German Roman Catholic theologian and writer .


John Bours studied after high school the subjects of Catholic theology and philosophy and received on 18 December 1937, the sacrament of Holy Orders . He then took on various tasks as a parish chaplain. From 1952 to 1968 he was first “auxiliary spiritual ”, then spiritual at the theological convict Collegium Borromaeum in Münster. Subsequently, until 1984, he accompanied the priest candidates at the seminary in Münster as a spiritual director . Then he was pastor in Mehr am Niederrhein.

Johannes Bours wrote numerous books on the biblical examination of scriptures and on the life of prayer and faith and is still one of the most important authors of Catholic-spiritual texts in the German-speaking area. He opened up teachers of mysticism such as Meister Eckhart , Heinrich Seuse , Johannes Tauler , Teresa von Avila and Johannes von Kreuz to his listeners and readers . Since the 1970s he was in contact with Karlfried Graf Dürckheim , who introduced him to the teaching and practice of Zen . One of his "spiritual students" was Peter Dyckhoff , who, like Bours, endeavors to spread spiritual practices and contemplative clergy in the Catholic Church.

Bours was one of the speakers for the ARD program Das Wort zum Sonntag .

He spent his twilight years in the Annenthal Monastery of the Sisters of Our Lady (SND) near Coesfeld. Johannes Bours died on February 1, 1988 in Coesfeld. He is buried in Mehr bei Kranenburg on the Lower Rhine.


Bours was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Department of Catholic Theology at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster.


  • The Jesus prayer . Emmerich 1962.
  • Meditations for the celebration of mass. Munster 1964.
  • The good samaritan. Düsseldorf 1965.
  • I call to you. Daily scripture prayer. Freiburg im Breisgau 1971.
  • The God who was my Shepherd all my life. Pray with Bible words. Freiburg im Breisgau 1977.
  • Passion for god. Celibacy, poverty, obedience . Freiburg im Breisgau 1981 (with Franz Kamphaus ).
  • Jesus asked him. Steps of spiritual training in following Jesus. Freiburg im Breisgau 1981.
  • Take in God's melody. Freiburg im Breisgau 1985.
  • Man is led the way he chooses. Freiburg im Breisgau 1986.
  • Who comes up against God. Freiburg im Breisgau 1987.
  • That we look at the sky Paderborn 1994.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Werner Thissen : Looking for the way to heaven. For the 100th birthday of Johannes Bours . In: Kirche + Leben from March 24, 2013.
  2. See speakers since 1954 .