Hirscher, Johann Baptist Von

Hirscher, Johann Baptist von a celebrated German Roman Catholic theologian, was born at Alt- Ergarten, Würtemberg, Jan. 20, 1788. He was educated at the Lyceum of Constance and at the University of Freiburg, and was made a priest in 1810. He held the position of instructor in philosophy and theology in different institutions until 1817, when he was called as professor of ethical and pastoral theology to the University of Tübingen. In 1837 he was called to the University of Freiburg, and in 1839 he became a member of the cathedral chapter of the archdiocese of Freiburg. He was also appointed an "ecclesiastical counselor," and, somewhat later, a privy counselor (Geheim-Rath). In 1849 he was delegate of the University of Freiburg in the First Chamber of the grand duchy of Baden, into which he was subsequently several times called by the confidence of the grand duke. In 1850 he became dean of the cathedral chapter. In 1863 he resigned his position at the university on account of ill health. He died Sept. 4,1865. Hirscher was one of the representative men of Roman Catholic theology in the 19th century. At the beginning of his literary career he was a zealous advocate of liberal reforms within his Church; subsequently he gradually became, with Mihler (q.v.), Drey (q.v.), and other professors of Tübingen, a more outspoken champion of the tenets of his Church in opposition to Protestantism, and joined his colleagues as founder and co-editor of the Theologische Quartalschrift (established 1819), one of the ablest theological organs of the Church of Rome. But, though a prolific and prominent writer in behalf of his Church, he continued, even in later life, to favor the introduction of some reforms, as the admission of the laity to diocesan synods, and laid, in general, greater stress on those points which the Roman Catholic Church has in common with orthodox Protestantism than on those which separate the two churches. He remained an opponent of Ultramontane theories, and was therefore, up to his death, the object of many attacks on the part of Ultramontane writers. Several of his earlier works, in particular the one entitled De Missa (Tübingen, 1821; German. transl. Baden, 1838), in which he advocated the use of the Latin language at divine service, were put in the Roman Index. The chief aim of most of his works is to represent the doctrines of his Church, especially those most offensive to Protestants and liberal Roman Catholics, in as favorable a light as possible. The most important among his works are Ansichten von dem Jubilsum (Tüb. 1826), the second edition of which appeared under the title Die Lehre vom kathol. Ablass (6th edit. Tüb. 1855): — Gesch. Jesu

Christi (Tüb. 1840; 2nd edit. 1845): — Katechetik (4th edit. Tüb. 1840): — Betrachtungen fiber saimmliche Evangelien der Fasten (Tüb. 1848): — Die kirchl. Zustlnde d. Gegenwart (Tüb. 1848): — Die christl. Moral (Tüb. 1835, 3 vols.; 5th ed. 1850-1851): — Beiträge zur Homiletik u. Katechetik (Tüb. 1852): — Betrachtunan über die sonntiag lichen Evangelien des Kirchenjahres (5th edit. Tüb. 1853, 2 vols.): — Erörterungen fiber die grossen religiosen Fragen der Gegenwart (3 numbers; 3rd ed. Freib. 1846-1857): — Hauptstiicke des christkath. Glaubens (Tüb. 1857): Katechismus (Freib. 1842, and many edit. since): — Betrachtungen uoer sämmiliche sonntigl. Episteln (Freiburg, 1860- 1862, 2 vols.): — Das Leben farice (5th edit. Freib. 1865). He took a special interest in the education of poor and abandoned children, himself establishing three houses of refuge. He wrote on this subject the work — Die Sorge fur die sittlich verwahrlosten Kinder (Freib. 1856). A volume of minor posthumous works (Nachgyelassene kleinere Schriften, Freib. 1868) has been published by Rollfuss. This work contains also a biography of Hirscher. — Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, transl. by Smith, 2, 457; Hase, Church History, transl. by Blumenthal and Wing, p. 654; Allgeem. Real- Encyklop. 7, 128. (A. J. S.)

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