TU Graz


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Thauren, Johannes - Theresiana (22/25)
Theodora Laskaris Theologische Lehranstalten


Theology: During the Renaissance, the end of Scholasticism, which was the basic doctrine of ethics in the Middle Ages, brought about a transformation of Christian theology. At the time of the Reformation, issues of apologetics were of primary importance, and the major focus of theology was on the systematic disciplines. Around the middle of the 18th  century, theology experienced a decline, which was finally overcome around the middle of the 19th  century and eventually led to the great achievements of theology in the 20th  century. Austria took a leading role in many theological disciplines, e.g. Mysticism. Well-known authorities on the critical interpretation of biblical literature were T. Ebendorfer, Nikolaus von Dinkelsbühl, H. Zschokke, Ä. Schöpfer, T. Innitzer, N. Schlögl, and C. Schedl. The most important dogmaticians included Heinrich Heinbuche von Langenstein, Heinrich von Oyta, Nikolaus von Cues, Petrus Canisius, and W. Lamormaini. A significant school of late Thomism developed in Salzburg under P. Mezger, A. Reding, and F. Sfondrati; the most important Austrian 20th century dogmatician is K. Rahner, who was theological consultant to the Second Vatican Council. Austria assumed a leading role in catechetics, and Petrus Canisius´ catechism editions served as a model for many catechisms up into the 20th  century. The religion-book movement in Austrian secondary schools, which was started by E. Zöllner, A. Hartl, and E. Krauss around 1890, influenced the catechisms in other countries. The psychological method used in Catholic religious instruction in schools today is also of Austrian origin (J. Kundi). Among the leading representatives of patrology are H. Rahner and, at the interface between bible studies, patrology, and oriental studies, J. B. Bauer; in oriental studies K. Schubert is also important, and in the study of religion Cardinal F. König. Since the university reforms instituted by Maria Theresia, Church history has been an independent discipline at the university departments of theology. Of significance are F. L. Stolberg´s history of the Church (15 vols.), L. Pastor´s papal history (16 vols.), F. Maass´ research on Josephinism, and E. Tomek´s history of the Catholic Church in Austria. Pastoral theology as an independent discipline of theology also has its roots in Austria; J. Feigerle, H. Swoboda, and M. Pfliegler ,as well as F. Klostermann, became leading representatives of this discipline. Important contributions to the field of moral theology came from H. Noldin, E. Müller, F. M. Schindler and I. Seipel, in fundamental theology from A. Michelitsch, M. J. Pohl, and A. Mitterer, and in canon law from J. Fessler, R. Scherer, and J. Haring. The Liturgical Movement, whose goal was the renewal of the Church liturgy, initiated by P. Parsch, was taken up by the Second Vatican Council and applied to the entire Catholic Church, an important contribution coming from J. A. Jungmann.

Theology is taught and researched in Austria at the faculties of Catholic theology of the Universities of Vienna (since 1384), Graz (since 1585, interrupted 1939-1945), Salzburg (since 1617), and Innsbruck (1671-1822 and since 1857), as well as at the Universities of Catholic Theology in Linz and St. Pölten. There are also theological training institutes in Heiligenkreuz and St. Gabriel (Mödling). Among the periodical publications in this field, the Innsbruck-based "Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie", the religious studies magazine "Kairo", published in Salzburg, the quarterly "Theologisch-praktische Quartalschrift" in Linz, the magazine "Wort und Wahrheit", which was published in Vienna until 1973, and the "Ökumenisches Forum", published in Graz, deserve particular mention.

The University of Vienna has a Faculty of Theology, Protestant ( (Protestantism).

Literature: J. Nedbal, Die theologische Wissenschaft, in: Kirche in Österreich 1918-1965, 1966; Die katholische Kirche in Österreich, Almanach, 1992.

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