Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Johann Sebastian Drey. Praelectiones Dogmaticae (1815-1834). Gehalten Zu Ellwangen Und Tübingen

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Johann Sebastian Drey. Praelectiones Dogmaticae (1815-1834). Gehalten Zu Ellwangen Und Tübingen

Article excerpt

Johann Sebastian Drey. Praelectiones Dogmaticae (1815-1834). Gehalten zu Ellwangen und Tübingen. Edited and Introduction by Max Seckler. 2 volumes. (Tübingen: Francke Verlag. 2003. Pp. xviii, 775. euro129.)

Ever since the Reformation, German Catholics have had to struggle to maintain their theological authenticity as a minority group in the German cultural stream that ultimately matured in the second Reich. Catholic theologians could maintain a defensive position through a rigorous adherence to Scholastic and subsequently Neo-Scholastic patterns of thought. They could also create a way for their faith to engage their culture in a more positive fashion. The Tübingen School of Theology adopted this latter impetus and looked for the positive contribution that a historicist, romantic, and idealistic culture could provide. Drey was the father of this school, which included Johann Adam Mohler, Franz Anton Staudenmaier, and Johann Kuhn. Subsequently, this nineteenth-century school of thought nurtured such theologians as Hermann Schell, Karl Adam, Johann Metz, and Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). This theological tradition has tended to see God in the "signs of the times" and so could support the "event-driven" theology of such scholars as Metz.

Seckler's very scholarly contribution to analyzing this tradition appears in his carefully edited text of the formerly unpublished Praelecttones.This work contains the notes of Drey's outlines of his systematic theology lectures. This collection of notes is critical as background for understanding Drey's Etnlettung and Apologettk. Drey's reviews of the works of others have also allowed recent scholars to envision what Drey's systematic theology would have looked like as a formal treatise. seckler, a scholar's scholar, has used virtually every published and unpublished source to help unpack the Praelecttones as a text containing Drey's seminal thoughts on the structure of theology as a discipline and on the interaction between theology and history. He and his colleague, Winfried Werner, have even found the class notes of some of Drey's students, which help establish the fact that Drey's scholarly reflections were what he actually taught. …

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