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Johann Georg Reiffenstuel

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Theologian and canonist; b. at Kaltenbrunn (Tegernsee) 2 July, 1641; d. at Freising, 5 Oct., 1703.

He entered the Franciscan (Reformed) Order in the Province of Bavaria, 3 Nov., 1658, and taught philosophy at Freising (1665), Landshut (1667-68), and Munich. He taught theology at Munich from 1671 till 1680, when he became guardian of the convent of Weilheim (1680-83). Meanwhile he had been chosen (1677) definitor of his province. In 1683 he began to teach canon law at Freising to the members of his order and the seminarians of that town. Ill-health obliged him to discontinue this teaching. In 1692 the Bishop of Freising appointed him director of the episcopal educational establishments of the town, besides which he filled offices in his order. He also devoted himself to the organization and cataloguing of the episcopal and capitular library of Freising. It would be hard to praise unduly his learning, virtue, and regularity in his religious life ; he enjoyed the confidence of everyone. He first published his "Theologia moralis" (Munich, 1692), which went through thirty editions, notably those of his fellow religious Massaeus Kresslinger (Modena, 1740; Munich, 1742), and Dalmatius Kickh (Augsburg, 1762), who appended "additions", and a treatise on the "Propositiones damnatae a summis pontificibus". An Antwerp edition (1743) includes the additions of Jacques Esteva on the Bull of the Crusades. The edition issued by Flavianus Ricci a Cimbria (Augsburg, 1777) modifies his doctrines: instead of the Probabilist which he was, he makes Reiffenstuel a Probabiliorist, in conformity with the official doctrine of his order. His "Jus canonicum universum" (Munich, 1700) accords Reiffenstuel first rank among canonists; he is equalled by none, and is highly esteemed even in modern times. Subsequent editions contain a "Tractatus de regulis juris", first published at Ingolstadt in 1733. The best editions are those of Venice (1730-1735), Rome (1831-32), Paris (1864). A three-volume editio compendiaria was published at Paris (1853). He is also the author of a "Vita S. Francisci Solani", and a work "De caeremoniis et ritibus ecclesiasticis".


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