Dogmatic theologian, b. 21 December, 1805, at Münster, Westphalia ; d. there, 6 December, 1881. He studied philosophy and theology in the same city, after completing his course at the Gymnasium, and proceeded to the University of Bonn in 1826. Esser, at Münster, and especially Hermes, at Bonn, led him to such speculations in theology as would have proved detrimental, had he not prosecuted his studies at Tübingen, during 1829 and 1830, under Drey, Hirscher, and Möhler, who influenced him by their historic method, thus saving him from the danger of philosophical systems then prevalent in Germany. He graduated as Doctor of Theology at the University of Munich while yet a deacon, and soon after began his long career as professor in the Academy of Münster, his native town, where he taught till his death. In 1832 he was ordained priest without ever having taken a course in any ecclesiastical seminary. His first book, "Apologetik der Kirche", was published in 1835, and favourably noticed by Protestant critics. He was appointed, first, associate professor, then regular professor, lecturing on apologetics and moral theology, but he ultimately restricted himself to dogmatic theology. His influence on the theological faculty of the Academy was so marked that its spirit may be said to be his. He became dean of the faculty in 1849 and, with Bisping, Schwane, and others, established the fame of his Alma Mater, excelling less in speculation than in argument and in positive exposition of dogma. Kihn numbers him among those who discussed theological matters philosophically, while Knöpfler regards him as belonging to the Tübingen school. Brück, in his history of the Catholic Church in the nineteenth century, declares, "Berlage's writings excel in correct expression of dogmatic principles, in elegance of language, and in clearness of diction". Those who have been his pupils say that as a lecturer he was concise, direct, and refined. He garnered the fruit of his studies in seven volumes, "Katholische Dogmatik", published 1839-64.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online