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Franz Anton Staudenmaier

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A theologian, born at Donzdorf, Würtemberg, 11 Sept., 1800; died at Freiburg im Breisgau, 19 Jan., 1856. He was a pupil at the Latin school of Gmünd in the years 1815-18, and at the Gymnasium at Ellwangen 18 18-22. During the years 1822-26 he studied theology and philosophy at the University of Tübingen, where Drey, Herbst, Hirscher, and Möhler were his teachers; in the autumn of 1826 he entered the seminary at Rottenburg, where he was ordained priest on 15 Sept., 1827. After performing the duties of a parish priest for a year he became, in the autumn of 1828, a tutor in the Catholic theological seminary, "Wilhelmsstift" at Tübingen; in 1830 he was made regular professor of dogmatic theology in the newly-established Catholic theological faculty of the University of Giessen, which owed its brief period of prosperity largely to Staudenmaier and his colleague Kuhn. In the autumn of 1837 he became the regular professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau; from 1843 he was also a cathedral canon.

Staudenmaier was one of the most brilliant figures in the Catholic theology of Germany in the first half of the nineteenth century, and one of the most important writers on dogmatics of the Catholic Tübingen school. He was a scholar of far-reaching knowledge, of great productive energy, and at the same time a philosopher with a brilliant talent for speculation. His imperishable service consisted in securing a deep speculative foundation for Christian truth and in defending this truth against the errors of the pantheistic speculation of that era, especially of the Hegelian philosophy. The most important of his numerous literary works are the following: "Geschichte der Bischofswahlen" (Tübingen, 1830); "Johannes Scotus Erigena und die Wissenschaft seiner Zeit" (1 pt. only, Frankfort, 1834); "Encyklopädie der theologischen Wissenschaften als System der gesammten Theologie" (Mainz, 1834; 2nd ed. 1 vol. only, Mainz, 1840), at the time of its publication an epoch-making work in the domain of Catholic theology ; "Der Pragmatismus der Geistesgaben oder das Wirken des göttlichen Geistes im Menschen und in der Menschheit" (Tübingen, 1835); "Der Geist des Christenthums dargestellt in den heiligen Zeiten, in den heiligen Handlungen und in der heiligen Kunst" (2 pts., Mainz, 1835; 5th ed., 1855; 8th ed., 1880), an introduction to the understanding of Catholic Christianity and its worship, based on a presentation of the Catholic Church year, and expressed in language that can be understood by all educated Christians, the most widely-circulated book of Staudenmaier; "Geist der göttlichen Offenbarung, oder Wissenschaft der Geschichtsprincipien des Christenthums" (Giessen, 1837); "Die Philosophie des Christenthums oder Metaphysik der heiligen Schrift als Lehre von den gottlichen Ideen und ihrer Entwicklung in Natur, Geist, und Geschichte: Vol. I, Die Lehre von der Idee" (Giessen, 1840); "Darstellung und Kritik des Hegel'schen Systems. Aus dem Standpunkt der christlichen Philosophie" (Mainz, 1844); "Die christliche Dogmatik" (vols. I-IV, i, Freiburg im Br., 1844-52). This is Staudenmaier's principal work; unfortunately it was never finished. He also published "Das Wesen der katholischen Kirche, mit Rücksicht auf ihre Gegner dargestellt" (Freiburg im Br., 1845); "Zum religiösen Frieden der Zukunft, mit Rücksicht auf die religiös-politische Aufgabe der Gegenwart" 3 pts., Freiburg im Br., 1846-51). In addition he did much for two theological periodicals which he aided in founding and on which he collaborated; with his colleagues at Giessen he established the "Jahrbücher für Theologie und christliche Philosophie" (three yearly series in seven vols., Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1834-35; Mainz, 1836); in conjunction with his colleagues at Freiburg he established the "Zeitschrift für Theologie" (21 vols., Freiburg im Br., 1839-49). Both periodicals came into existence chiefly through his efforts and attained high scholarly reputation largely through his contributions.

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