Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Johann Ignaz Von Felbiger Und Kardinal Johann Heinrich Von Frankenberg: Wege der Religiosen Reform Im 18. Jahrhundert

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Johann Ignaz Von Felbiger Und Kardinal Johann Heinrich Von Frankenberg: Wege der Religiosen Reform Im 18. Jahrhundert

Article excerpt

Johann Ignaz von Felbiger and Kardinal Johann Heinrich von Frankenberg: Wege der Religiosen Reform im 18. Jahrhundert. By Winfried Romberg. [Arbeiten zur schlesischen Kirchengeschichte, Band 8.] (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag. 1999. Pp. 191. Paperback.)

Is the term "Catholic Enlightenment" an oxymoron? It all depends on one's choice of definitions. In this brief work, originally presentations by the author at the University at Wurzburg, it would appear that the definitions used exclude the possibility of a genuine Catholic Enlightenment.

The reader is presented with two essentially independent sketches of the life and outlook of Felbiger and Frankenberg, Silesian prelates who, after the conquest of their homeland by Prussia, found favor and an outlet for their talents at the hand of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. Although both subjects were Silesian by birth and background, only Felbiger, who served as abbot of the Augustinian monastery at Sagan for many years, worked in his home province. Frankenberg established himself in the Habsburg Monarchy immediately following his return from studies in Rome as a young man.

Romberg presents short sketches of the careers of the two men, then considers the outlook of each, and his relationship to the Habsburg state under Maria Theresa and Joseph 11. In so doing, the author implicitly utilizes definitions of both Jansenism and Enlightenment which exclude his subjects a priori. Jansenism is treated as a purely theological movement, with the extreme predestinarian soteriology of Augustine's later years as its foundation, and as best exemplified in Antoine Arnaud's De la frequente Communion. …

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