Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Die Katholische Tübinger Schule: Zur Geschichte Ihrer Wahrnehmung

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Die Katholische Tübinger Schule: Zur Geschichte Ihrer Wahrnehmung

Article excerpt

Late Modern European Die Katholische Tübinger Schule: Zur Geschichte ihrer Wahrnehmung. By Stefan Warthmann. (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. 2011. Distrib. David Brown Book Co., Oakville, CT. Pp. xi, 639. $138.00. ISBN 978-3-315-09856-4.)

This scholarly work is a dissertation done at Tübingen University and, not surprisingly, exhibits an astounding control of the primary and secondary sources. In sometimes repetitive detail, Stefan Warthmann explores what is meant by "school." Is the school to be defined by the faculty belonging to it? Is it to be the institutional group supporting the Theologische Quartalschrift? Is the school to be defined by the direction that it set for theological reflection right into the modern era? Warthmann extensively analyzes the issues raised by these questions, but selects "direction" as the concept to describe the school.

The school itself originated as a vigorous reaction to the Enlightenment and was nurtured by the romanticism, idealism, and historicism popular in early-nineteenth-century Germany along with the pastoral theological impetus provided by Johann Michael Sailer. The founders of the school itself were Johann Sebastian von Drey, who set the romantic, organic, and historical tone of the theological methodology, which was then reinforced by Johann Adam Möhler. Other early scholars in this tradition who carried forward the methodology of "doing theology" were Franz Anton Staudenmaier and Johann Evangelist von Kuhn; they went beyond the subjectivism of Friedrich Schleiermacher and were influenced by a Hegelian idealism that could support doctrinal development. For these theologians, doctrine was tied to the ongoing expressions of the historical Christian communities as they reflected within their historical contexts. Truth did not change, but rather matured or unfolded in an organic fashion.

Clearly, such an approach could be viewed by some as potentially endangering the transcendental truth offered by the institutional Church. …

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