Item description for The Spirit of Catholicism (Milestones in Catholic Theology) by Karl Adam, Justin McCann & Robert A. Krieg...
Overview "The Spirit of Catholicism" is a brilliant and widely influential reflection on the fundamental nature of the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church. First appearing in 1924, this is a truly pioneering work of Catholic theology, one that had a major influence on subsequent theology.
Publishers Description The Spirit of Catholicism is a brilliant and widely influential reflection on the fundamental nature of the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church. First appearing in 1924, this is a truly pioneering work of Catholic theology, one that had a major influence on subsequent theology.
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Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1997
Publisher Herder & Herder
Series Milestones In Catholic Theology
ISBN 0824517180 ISBN13 9780824517182
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More About Karl Adam, Justin McCann & Robert A. Krieg
Karl Adam was born in 1876 and died in 1966.
Karl Adam has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Spirit of Catholicism (Milestones in Catholic Theology)?
Can Anything Good Come Out of Tübingen? Jan 4, 2007
Adam's book is terrific, and as Olson points out, amazing in that it was ahead of its time. Another reviewer's comments on his socialism pushed me to do a little research. Despite his brilliant writing, Adam was in certain ways a child of his time and place, and appears to have been a patriotic German. While his loyalties may have been misplaced, and he was also anti-semetic in ways embarrassing to us today, he was no Nazi. In certain ways he seems to offer a Catholic counter-portrait to the many devout Christians who were overly zealous in support of America's Confederate South. We can condemn the man and his writings, or see it as grace that despite human blinkers he was still able to get so much so right, and keep his lasting books free of the nationalist taint that hurt his middle years. To modern eyes his volumes read as strikingly clear-sighted and irenic, and I can think of no author better to recommend to inquiring Protestants (along with Bouyer, Guardini, and von Hilderbrand). These comments on Adam's German patriotism from The Catholic Historical Review are long but helpful:
"The Tübingen theologian Karl Adam (1876-1966) won international respect in the 1920's with the publication of The Spirit of Catholicism (German text, 1924), which appeared in English in 1929 and eventually in ten other languages,including Chinese and Japanese.This book on the Church as the mystical body of Christ influenced Yves Congar, Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Connor, Karl Rahner, and Pope Paul VI,who implicitly drew on the work in his first encyclical, Ecclesiam suam (1964). Adam wrote other widely read books as well: Christ Our Brother(1926) and The Son of God (1933), in which he stressed the humanity of Jesus Christ, and The Christ of Faith(1954), which illumines the Church's teachings about Jesus Christ against the demythologizing of Rudolf Bultmann and the reductionism of the liberal quest for the historical Jesus. Adam was surely one of the most creative Catholic theologians of the early twentieth century. However,he was also one of the most prominent German Catholic proponents of an accommodation between the Catholic Church and Adolf Hitler. How could he have perceived common ground between Catholicism and National Socialism? What was it about his theology that fed into his political naiveté?
Lucia Scherzberg answers these questions in Kirchenreform mit Hilfe des Nationalsozialismus, "church reform with the help of National Socialism." Along with most Germans,Adam's patriotism swelled in August,19l4,when the nation went to war,and it was deeply offended by the war's end and the Treaty of Versailles. Beginning in 1919, Adam set out to present the Catholic Church's primary teachings in categories that were faithful to the Bible and Christian tradition and simultaneously intelligible to his contemporaries. Intent upon finding an alternative to Neo-Scholasticism,he made use of Max Scheler's phenomenology and the neo-romantic existentialism or Lebensphilosophie of Rainer Maria Rilke and Friedrich Nietzsche.Crucial was the notion of community, of the "organic" interconnectedness of people who share a common history and similar religious beliefs and moral values.
Residing in idyllic Tübingen, Adam judged in 1933 that Hitler could restore Germans'unity and pride. If the new chancellor and his circle could be influenced to uphold the legal and moral order, then the Church could flourish in Germany,for it could build its spiritual community on the foundation of a vibrant national community. Moreover, the Church itself could undergo its much-needed renewal by means of its participation in the new German society; that is, it could replace its medieval and baroque forms with ones more appropriate to the contemporary world,for example, by switching from Latin at Mass to the vernacular and by dropping the requirement of clerical celibacy.
Scherzberg has shed new light on Adam's theological and political reasoning and also on his professional relationships, thereby highlighting aspects of Catholicism in the Third Reich. She goes beyond the books on Karl Adam by Hans Kreidler (1988), Robert Krieg (1992), and Karl-Heinz Wiesemann (2000) in her review of the theologian's correspondence and in her discussion of his work from the perspective of recent studies in theological inculturation, for example, by Michael Bongardt, Robert Schreiter, Roland Spliesgart,Hans Kessler, and Otmar Fuchs. She appropriately cites Kevin Spicer's valuable doctoral dissertation "Choosing Between God and Satan" (Boston College, 2000) concerning Berlin's Catholic clergy under Hitler. However, she does not refer to the two-volume Der Rheinische Reformkreis (2001), edited by Hubert Wolf and Klaus Arnold, which includes Adam's correspondence with German Catholics who looked for ways in which they could use the national movement to bring about changes in the Church.This correspondence shows that Adam's primary loyalty was to the Church; although he tried to find points of contact between the Church and some of Hitler's ideas, he was not a National Socialist." -R.A.Krieg, Catholic Historical Review, Oct. 02.
Theological compartmentilization Dec 1, 2006
Karl Adam's book was one of the few I bought as a teenager in Germany on the recommendation of the priest in charge of the parish youth group. Even then it struck me that the author turned more to Goethe than to the saints and Fathers of the Church to make his point. I have come to know only recently that my scepticism was well founded. An article by Denziger, a professor at Bamberg and a book by Krieg, a professor at Notre Dame, have demasked Adam as one of the three important German theologians who endorsed the "blood and soil" doctrine of National Socialism. Adam considered the Jews an inferior race and even speculated in a very peculiar way that Jesus Christ was miraculously spared the shame and stain of Jewish genes. The young priest who had attended Adam's lectures in Tuebingen explained to me that the Nazis were right in restricting the Jews, especially the ones infiltrating Germany from the East. My parents had Jewish friends we visited quite often and I had gotten good advice from Dr. Rose concerning my studies of ancient Greek. I also knew that another priest in our parish had insisted that Christ was a Jew. So I was surprised and annoyed by the first priest's anti-Semitism. Inspite of Adam's brilliant writings I have not been able to take him seriously since. --Another disillusion of old age.
Talking to all of each part of the human person Apr 5, 2003
German theologian Karl Adam makes here the best case I have yet found for the following proposition: The Catholic faith not only speaks to all people, it speaks to each part of every person. Adam knew, and showed, how rich the Catholic faith is, from art and literature to intellectual and architectural cathedrals; from piety and community to mysticism. Each part of a person is addressed: the intellectual, the affective (or emotional), and the imaginative. And each part is brought together with the others to form a beautiful, brilliant, and vibrant whole.
Adam shows the teachings of the Church as lived realities. They are beautiful, intellectually sound, and viscerally charged. lamentably, contemporary writings about the Church's loveliness tend to fall miles beneath the august standard here set.
Though written in the 1920s, this book's appeal is not primarily historical. It presents a fresh vision of what the Catholic life may yet again be, and inspires one's journey toward that lovely horizon.
Good First Step Apr 7, 2002
I picked up a copy of the original 1935 version of this book and gave it a chance. This is not an area that I normally read so at first I did not know what to expect. I am also not an overly religious person so I do not have a large stock of other books to compare it to. I found that the book was well written and easy to move through. I was concerned it would be a little high handed, but it was not. It was full of information that was beneficial. You certainly gain a positive view of the church from the book and it has spurned me on to look for more titles on the subject. If you are like me, a first time reader in the area this was a good way to start.
Excellent book Jan 5, 2002
This book helped me immensely with my apologetics "homework", especially concerning communion of the saints and other issues that are so alien to Protestants. The book is extremely well written and contains so much information that I haven't found in one source anywhere else. If you are sitting on the theological fence then this book is a MUST read!