DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
Catholic Encyclopedia 
AUTHOR: J. POHLE

Dogmatic theology is that part of theology which treats of the 
theoretical truths of faith concerning God and His works (dogmata 
fidei), whereas moral theology has for its subject-matter the practical 
truths of morality (dogmata morum). At times, apologetics or 
fundamental theology is called "general dogmatic theology", dogmatic 
theology proper being distinguished from it as "special dogmatic 
theology". However, according to present-day usage, apologetics is no 
longer treated as part of dogmatic theology but has attained the rank 
of an independent science, being generally regarded as the introduction 
to and foundation of dogmatic theology. The present article shall deal 
first with those questions which are fundamental to dogmatic theology 
and then briefly review its historical development due to the acumen 
and indefatigable industry with which the theologians of every 
civilized country and of every century have cultivated and promoted 
this science. 
I. DEFINITION AND NATURE OF DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
To define dogmatic theology, it will be best to start from the general 
notion of theology. Considered etymologically, theology (Gr. Theologia, 
i.e. peri Theou logos) means objectively the science treating of God, 
subjectively, the scientific knowledge of God and Divine things. If 
defined as the science concerning God (doctrina de Deo), the name of 
theology applies as well to the philosophical knowledge of God, which 
is cast into scientific form in natural theology or theodicy. However, 
unless theodicy is free from errors, it cannot lay claim to the name of 
theology. For this reason, pagan mythology and pagan doctrines about 
the gods, must at once be set aside as false theology. The theology of 
heretics also, so far as it contains grave errors, must be excluded. In 
a higher and more perfect sense we call theology that science of God 
and Divine things which, objectively, is based on supernatural 
revelation, and subjectively, is viewed in the light of Christian 
faith. Theology thus broadens out into Christian doctrine (doctrina 
fidei) and embraces not only the particular doctrines of God's 
existence, essence, and triune personality, but all the truths revealed 
by God. The Patristic era did not, as a rule, take theology in this 
wide sense. For the earlier Fathers, strictly limiting the term 
theology to doctrine about God, distinguished it from the doctrine of 
His external activity, especially from the Incarnation and Redemption, 
which they included under the name of the "Divine economy". Now, if God 
is not only the primary object but also the first principle of 
Christian theology, then its ultimate end likewise must be God; that is 
to say it must teach, effect, and promote union with God through 
religion Consequently, it lies in the very essence of theology to be 
the doctrine not only of God and of faith, but also of religion 
(doctrina religionis). It is this triple function which gave rise to 
the old adage of the School: Theologia Deum docet, a Deo docetur, ad 
Deum ducit (Theology teaches of God, is taught by God, and leads to 
God). 
However, neither supernatural theology in general nor dogmatic theology 
in particular is sufficiently specified by its material object or its 
end, since natural theology also treats of God and Divine things and 
shows that union with God is a religious duty. What essentially 
distinguishes the two sciences is the so-called formal principle or 
formal object. Supernatural theology considers God and Divine things 
solely in the supernatural light of external revelation and internal 
faith, analyzes them scientifically, proves them and penetrates as far 
as possible into their meaning. From this it follows that theology 
comprehends all those and only those doctrines which are to be found in 
the sources of faith, namely Scripture and Tradition, and which the 
infallible Church proposes to us. Now, among these revealed truths 
there are many which reason, by its own natural power, can discover, 
comprehend, and demonstrate, especially those that pertain to natural 
theology and ethics. These truths, however accessible to unaided 
reason, receive a theological colouring only by being at the same time 
supernaturally revealed and accepted on the ground of God's infallible 
authority. The act of faith being nothing else than the unconditional 
surrender of human reason to the sovereign authority of the self-
revealing God, it is plain that Catholic theology is not a purely 
philosophical science like mathematics or metaphysics; it must rather, 
of its very nature be an authoritative science, basing its teachings, 
especially of the mysteries of faith, on the authority of Divine 
revelation and the infallible Church established by Christ; for it is 
the Divine mission of the Church to preserve intact the entire deposit 
of faith (depositum fidei), to preach and explain it authoritatively. 
There are, it is true, many non-Catholics and even some Catholics who 
are irritated at seeing Catholic theology bow before an external 
authority. They take offence at conciliar decrees, papal decisions ex 
cathedra, the censure of theological opinions, the index of forbidden 
books, the Syllabus, the oath against Modernism. Yet all these 
ecclesiastical regulations flow naturally and logically from the formal 
principle of Christian theology: the existence of Divine revelation and 
the right of the Church to demand, in the name of Christ, an unwavering 
belief in certain truths concerning faith and morals. To reject the 
authority of the Church would be equivalent to abandoning supernatural 
revelation, and contemning God himself, who can neither deceive nor be 
deceived, since He is Truth itself, and who speaks through the mouth of 
the Church. Consequently, theology as a science, if it would avoid the 
danger of error, must ever remain under the tutelage and guidance of 
the Church. To a Catholic, theology without the Church is as absurd as 
theology without God. Dogmatic theology, then, may be defined as the 
scientific exposition of the entire theoretical doctrine concerning God 
Himself and His external activity, based on the dogmas of the Church. 
II. DOGMATIC THEOLOGY AS A SCIENCE
Considering that theology depends essentially on the Church, a serious 
difficulty arises at once. How, one may ask, can theology claim to be a 
science in the genuine sense of the word? If the aim and result of 
theological investigation is settled in advance by an authority that 
attributes to itself infallibility and will brook no contradiction, if 
the line of march is, as it were, clearly mapped out and strictly 
prescribed, how can there be any question of true science or of 
scientific freedom? Are not the dogmatic proofs, supposed to 
demonstrate an infallible dogma, after all mere dialectical play, sham 
science, reasoning made to order? Prejudice against Catholic theology, 
prevalent in the world at large, is beginning to bear fruit; in many 
countries the theological faculties, still existing in the state 
universities, are looked upon as so much useless ballast, and the 
demand is being made to relegate them to the episcopal seminaries, 
where they can no longer injure the intellectual freedom of the people. 
The downright unfairness of this attitude is obvious when one considers 
that the universities sprang up and developed in the shadow of the 
Church and of Catholic theology; and that, moreover, the exaggeration 
of scientific freedom may prove fatal to the profane sciences as well. 
Unless It presuppose certain truths, which can no more be demonstrated 
than many mysteries of faith, science can achieve nothing; and unless 
it recognize the limits that are set to investigation, the boasted 
freedom will degenerate into lawless and arbitrary anarchy. As the 
logician starts from notions, the jurist from legal texts, the 
historian from facts, the chemist from material substances as things 
which demand no proof in his case, so the theologian receives his 
material from the hands of the Church and deals with it according to 
the rules which the scientist applies in his own branch. 
The view, moreover, that scientific research is absolutely free and 
independent of all authority is fanciful and distorted. To the freedom 
of science, the authority of the individual conscience, and of human 
society as well, sets an impassable limit. Even the civil power would 
have to exercise its authority in the form of punishment if a 
university professor, presuming on the freedom of scientific thought 
and research, should teach openly that burglary, murder, adultery, 
revolution, and anarchy are permissible. We may concede that the 
Catholic theologian, being subject to ecclesiastical authority, is more 
closely bound than the professor of the secular sciences. Yet the 
difference is one of degree only, inasmuch as every science and every 
investigator is bound by the moral and religious duty of subordination. 
Some Scholastics, it is true, e. g. Durandus and Vasquez, denied to 
Christian theology a strictly scientific character, on the ground that 
the content of faith is obscure and incapable of demonstration. But 
their argument does not carry conviction. At most it proves that 
dogmatic science is not of the same kind and order as the profane 
sciences. What is essential to any science is not internal evidence, 
but merely certainty of its first principles. 
There are many profane sciences which borrow unproved from a superior 
science their highest principles; these are the so-called lemmata, 
subsidiary propositions, which serve as premises for further 
conclusions. The theologian does the same. He, too, borrows the first 
principles of his science from the higher knowledge of God without 
proving them. Every subaltern science supposes of course in the 
superior discipline the power to give a strict demonstration of the 
assumed premises. But all scientific axioms rest ultimately on 
metaphysics, and metaphysics itself is unable to prove strictly all its 
principles all it can do is to defend them against attack. It is plain 
then that every science without exception rests on axioms and 
postulates which, though certain, yet admit of no demonstration. The 
mathematician is aware that the existence of geometry, the surest and 
most palpable of all sciences, depends entirely on the soundness of the 
postulate of parallels. Nevertheless, this very postulate is far from 
being demonstrable. In fact, since no convincing proof of it was 
forthcoming, there has arisen since the time of Gauss a more general, 
non-Euclidean geometry, of which the Euclidean is only a special case. 
Why, then, should Catholic theology, because of its postulates, 
lemmata, and mysteries, be denied the name of a science? Apart from the 
domain of dogma proper, the theologian may approach the numerous 
controversial questions and more intricate problems with the same 
freedom as is enjoyed by any other scientist. One thing, however, must 
never be lost sight of. No science is at liberty to upset theorems 
which have been established once and for all; they must be regarded as 
unshaken dogmas upon which the entire structure is based. Similarly, 
the articles of faith must not be looked upon by the theologian as 
troublesome barriers, but as beacon-lights that warn the mariner, show 
him the true course, and preserve him from shipwreck. 
III. METHODS OF DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
Whereas other sciences, as, for instance, theodicy, begin with proving 
the existence of God, it lies beyond the scope of theology to discover 
dogmatic truths. The subject-matter with which the student of theology 
has to deal is offered to him in the deposit of faith and, reduced to 
its briefest form, is to be found in the Catechism. If the theologian 
is content with deriving the dogmas from the sources of faith and with 
explaining them, he is occupied with "positive" theology. Guided by the 
doctrinal authority of the Church, he calls history and criticism to 
his aid to find in Scripture and Tradition the genuine unalloyed truth. 
If to this positive element is joined a polemic tendency, we have 
"controversial" theology, which was carried to its highest perfection 
in the seventeenth century by Cardinal Bellarmine. Positive theology 
must prove its theses by conclusive arguments drawn from Scripture and 
Tradition; hence it is closely related to exegesis and history. As 
exegete, the theologian must first of all accept the inspiration of the 
Bible as the Word of God. But even when elucidating its meaning, he 
will always bear in mind the unanimous interpretation of the Fathers, 
the hermeneutical principles of the Church, and the directions of the 
Holy See. In his character as historian, the theologian must not lay 
aside his belief in the supernatural origin of Christianity and in the 
Divine institution of the Church, if he is to give a true and objective 
account of tradition, of the history of dogma, and of patrology. For, 
just as the Bible, being the Word of God, was written under the 
immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost, so Tradition was, and is, 
guided in a special manner by God, Who preserves it from being 
curtailed, mutilated, or falsified. 
Consequently, he who from the outset declares the Bible to be an 
ordinary book, miracles and prophecies impossible and old-fashioned, 
the Church a great institution for deadening thought, the Fathers of 
the Church pious prattlers, is quite incapable, even from a purely 
scientific standpoint, of understanding God's momentous dispensations 
to mankind. From this we may conclude how unecclesiastical and at the 
same time how unscientific are those historians who prefer to explain 
the works of the Fathers without due regard for ecclesiastical 
tradition, which was the mental environment in which they lived and 
breathed. For it is only when we discover the living link which bound 
them to the Apostolic Tradition of which they are witnesses, that we 
shall understand their writings and establish the heterodoxy of some 
passages, as for instance, the Origenistic apocatastasis in the 
writings of Gregory of Nyssa. When Plus X, by his Motu Proprio of 1 
Sept., 1910, solemnly obliged all priests to adhere to these 
principles, he did more than recall to our minds the time-hallowed 
rules of Christian faith; he freed history and criticism from those 
baneful excrescences which impeded the growth of true science. 
When the dogmatic material with the help of the historical method has 
been derived from its sources, another momentous task awaits the 
theologian: the philosophical appreciation, the speculative examination 
and elucidation of the material brought to light. This is the purpose 
of the "scholastic" method from which "scholastic theology" takes its 
name. 
The scope of the scholastic method is fourfold:
1. To open up completely the content of dogma and to analyze it 
	   by means of dialectics; 
2. To establish a logical connection between the various dogmas 
	   and to unite them in a well-knit system; 
3. To derive new truths, called "theological conclusions" from 
	   the premises by syllogistic reasoning; 
4. To find reasons, analogies, congruous arguments for the 
	   dogmas; 
But above all to show that the mysteries of faith, though beyond the 
reach of reason, are not contrary to its laws, but can be made 
acceptable to our intellect. It is evident that the ultimate purpose of 
these philosophical speculations cannot be to resolve dogma finally 
into mere natural truths, or to strip the mysteries of their 
supernatural character, but to explain the truths of faith, to provide 
for them a philosophical basis, to bring them nearer to the human mind. 
Faith must ever remain the solid rock-bottom on which reason builds up, 
and faith in its turn strives after understanding (fides quoerens 
intellectum). Hence the famous axiom of St. Anselm of Canterbury: Credo 
ut inlellegam. However highly one may esteem the results of positive 
theology, one thing is certain: the scientific character of dogmatic 
theology does not rest so much on the exactness of its exegetical and 
historical proofs as on the philosophical grasp of the content of 
dogma. But in attempting this task, the theologian cannot look for aid 
to modern philosophy with its endless confusion, but to the glorious 
past of his own science. What else are the modern systems of 
philosophy, skeptical criticism, Positivism, Pantheism, Monism, etc., 
than ancient errors cast into new molds? Rightly does Catholic theology 
cling to the only true and eternal philosophy of common sense, which 
was established by Divine Providence in the Socratic School, carried to 
its highest perfection by Plato and Aristotle, purified from the 
minutest traces of error by the Scholastics of the thirteenth century. 
This is the Aristotelo-scholastic philosophy, which has gained an ever 
stronger foothold in ecclesiastical institutions of learning. Guided by 
sound pedagogical principles, Popes Leo XIII and Plus X officially 
prescribed this philosophy as a preparation for the study of theology, 
and recommended it as a model method for the speculative treatment of 
dogma. While in his famous Encyclical "Pascendi" of 8 Sept., 1907, Pius 
X praises positive theology and frankly recognizes its necessity, yet 
he sounds a note of warning not to become so absorbed in it as to 
neglect scholastic theology, which alone can impart a scientific grasp 
of dogma. These papal rescripts were probably inspired by the sad 
experience that any other than Scholastic philosophy, instead of 
elucidating and clarifying, only falsifies and destroys dogma, as is 
clearly shown by the history of Nominalism, the philosophy of the 
Renaissance, Hermesianism, Güntherianism, and Modernism. The 
development also of Protestant theology, which, entering into close 
union with modern philosophy, swayed to and fro between the extremes of 
faith and unfaith and did not even recoil from Pantheism, is a warning 
example for the Catholic theologian. This does not mean that Catholic 
theology has received no stimulus whatever from modern philosophy since 
the days of Kant (d. 1804). As a matter of fact, the critical tendency 
has quickened the critico-historical sense of Catholic theologians in 
regard to method and demonstration, has given more breadth and depth to 
their statement of problems, and has shown fully the value of the 
"theoretical doubt" as the starting-point of every scientific 
investigation. All these advances, as far as they mark real progress, 
have exerted a salutary influence on theology also. But they can never 
repair the material damages caused to sacred science, when, abandoning 
St. Thomas Aquinas, it went hand in hand with Kant and other champions 
of our age. But since the Aristotelo-scholastic philosophy also is 
capable of continual development, there is reason to expect for the 
future a progressive improvement of speculative theology. 
Another method of arriving at the truths of faith is mysticism, which 
appeals rather to the heart and the feelings than to the intellect, and 
sensibly imparts a knowledge of Divine things through pious meditation. 
As long as mysticism keeps in touch with scholasticism and does not 
exclude the intellect completely, it is entitled to existence for the 
simple reason that faith lays hold on the whole man, and penetrates his 
thoughts, desires, and sentiments. The greatest mystics, as Hugh of St. 
Victor, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Bonaventure, were at the same time 
distinguished Scholastics. A heart that has preserved the faith and 
simplicity of its childhood, takes delight even now in the writings of 
Henry Suso (d. 1365). But whenever mysticism emancipates itself from 
the guidance of reason and makes light of the doctrinal authority of 
the Church, it readily falls a prey to Pantheism and pseudo-mysticism, 
which are the bane of all true religion. Meister Eckhart, whose 
propositions were condemned by Pope John XXII in 1329, is a warning 
example. There is little in the present trend of thought that would be 
favourable to mysticism. The skepticism which has poisoned the minds of 
our generation, the uncontrolled greed for wealth, the feverish haste 
in commercial enterprises, even the dulling habit of reading the daily 
papers -- all these are only too apt to disturb the serene atmosphere 
of Divine contemplation, and play havoc with the interior life, the 
necessary conditions under which alone the tender flower of mystical 
piety can blossom. Modernism claims to possess in its immediate and 
immanent sense of God a congenial soil for the growth of mysticism; 
this soil, however, does not receive its waters from the undefiled 
fountain-head of Catholic piety, but from the cisterns of Liberal 
Protestant pseudo-mysticism, which are tainted, either confessedly or 
secretly, by Pantheism. 
IV. RELATION OF DOGMATIC THEOLOGY TO OTHER DISCIPLINES
At first, it was a thing altogether unknown to have different 
theological branches as independent sciences. Dogmatic theology was the 
only discipline, and comprised apologetics, dogmatic and moral 
theology, and canon law. This internal unity was also marked externally 
by the comprehensive name of science of faith (scientia fidei), or 
sacred science (scientia sacra). First to assert its independence was 
canon law, which, together with dogmatic theology, was the chief study 
in the medieval universities. But since the underlying principles of 
canon law, as the Divine constitution of the Church, the hierarchy, the 
power of ordinations, etc., were at the same time doctrines of faith to 
be proved in dogmatic theology, there was little danger that the 
internal connection with and dependence on the principal science would 
be broken. Far longer did the union between dogmatic and moral theology 
endure. They were treated in the medieval "Books of Sentences" and 
theological "Summae" as one science. It was not until the seventeenth 
century, and then only for practical reasons, that moral theology was 
separated from the main body of Catholic dogma. Nor did this division 
degenerate into a formal separation of two strictly coordinated 
disciplines. Moral theology has always been conscious that the revealed 
laws of morality are as much articles of faith as the theoretical 
dogmas, and that the entire Christian life is based on the three 
theological virtues, which are part of the dogmatic doctrine on 
justification. Hence the superior rank of dogmatic theology, which is 
not only the centre around the other disciplines are grouped, but also 
the main stem from which they branch out. But the necessity of a 
further division of labour as well as the example of non-Catholic 
methods led to the independent development of other disciplines: 
apologetics, exegesis, church history. 
The relation existing between apologetics, or fundamental theology as 
it has been called of late, and dogmatic theology is not that of a 
general to a particular science; it Is rather the relation of the 
vestibule to the temple or of the foundation to its superstructure. For 
both the method and the purpose of demonstration differ totally in the 
two branches. Whereas apologetics, intent upon laying the foundation of 
the Christian or Catholic religion, uses historical and philosophical 
arguments, dogmatic theology on the other hand makes use of Scripture 
and Tradition to prove the Divine character of the different dogmas. 
Doubt could only exist as to whether the discussion of the sources of 
faith, the rule of faith, the Church, the primacy, faith and reason, 
belongs to apologetics or to dogmatic theology. While a dogmatic 
treatment of these important questions has its advantages, yet from the 
practical standpoint and for reasons peculiar to the subject, they 
should be separated from dogmatic theology and referred to apologetics. 
The practical reason is that the existing denominational differences 
demand a more thorough apologetic treatment of these problems; and 
again, the subject-matter itself contains nothing else than the 
preliminary and fundamental questions of dogmatic theology properly so 
called. A branch of the greatest importance, ever since the 
Reformation, is exegesis with its allied disciplines, because that 
science establishes the meaning of the texts necessary for the 
Scriptural argument. As the Biblical sciences necessarily suppose the 
dogma of the inspiration of the Bible and the Divine institution of the 
Church, which alone, through the assistance of the Holy Ghost, is the 
rightful owner and authoritative interpreter of the Bible, it is 
manifest that exegesis, though enjoying full liberty in all other 
respects, must never lose its connection with dogmatic theology. Not 
even church history, though using the same critical methods as profane 
history, is altogether independent of dogmatic theology. As its object 
is to set forth the history of God's kingdom upon earth, it cannot 
repudiate or slight either the Divinity of Christ or the Divine 
foundation of the Church without forfeiting its claim to be regarded as 
a theological science. The same applies to other historic sciences, as 
the history of dogma, of councils, of heresies, patrology, symbolics, 
and Christian archaeology. Pastoral theology, which embraces liturgy, 
homiletics, and catechetics, proceeded from, and bears close 
relationship to, moral theology; its dependence on dogmatic theology 
needs, therefore, no further proof. 
The relation between dogmatic theology and philosophy deserves special 
attention. To begin with, even when they treat the same subject, as God 
and the soul, there is a fundamental difference between the two 
sciences. For, as was said above, the formal principles of the two are 
totally different. But, this fundamental difference must not be 
exaggerated to the point of asserting, with the Renaissance 
philosophers and the Modernists, that something false in philosophy may 
be true in theology, and vice versa, The theory of the "twofold truth" 
in theology and history, which is only a variant of the same false 
principle, is therefore expressly abjured in the anti-Modernist oath. 
But no less fatal would be the other extreme of identifying theology 
with philosophy, as was attempted by the Gnostics, later by Scotus 
Eriugena (d. about 877), Raymond Lullus (d. 1315), Pico della Mirandola 
(d. 1463), and by the modern Rationalists. To counteract this bold 
scheme, the Vatican Council (Sess. III, cap. iv) solemnly declared that 
the two sciences differ essentially not only in their cognitive 
principle (faith, reason) and their object (dogma, rational truth), but 
also in their motive (Divine authority, evidence) and their ultimate 
end (beatific vision, natural knowledge of God). But what is the 
precise relation between these sciences? The origin and dignity of 
revealed theology forbid us to assign to philosophy a superior or even 
a co-ordinate rank. Already Aristotle and Philo of Alexandria, in 
determining the relation of philosophy to that part of metaphysics 
which is directly concerned with God, pronounced philosophy to be the 
"handmaid" of natural theology. When philosophy came into contact with 
revelation, this subordination was still more emphasized and was 
finally crystallized in the principle: Philosophia est ancilla 
theologioe. But neither the Church nor the theologians who insisted on 
this axiom, ever intended thereby to encroach on the freedom, 
independence, and dignity of philosophy, to curtail its rights, or to 
lower it to the position of a mere slave of theology. Their mutual 
relations are far more honourable. Theology may be conceived as a 
queen, philosophy as a noble lady of the court who performs for her 
mistress the most worthy and valuable services, and without whose 
assistance the queen would be left in a very helpless and embarrassing 
position. That the Church, in examining the various systems, should 
select the philosophy which harmonized with her own revealed doctrine 
and proved itself to be the only true philosophy by acknowledging a 
personal God, the immortality of the soul, and the moral law, was so 
natural and obvious that it required no apology. Such a philosophy, 
however, existed among the pagans of old, and was carried to an eminent 
degree of perfection by Aristotle. 
V. DIVISION AND CONTENT OF DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
Not only for non-Catholics, but also for Catholic laymen it may be of 
interest to take a brief survey of the questions and problems generally 
discussed in dogmatic theology. 
A. God (De Deo uno et trino) 
As God is the central idea around which all theology turns, dogmatic 
theology must begin with the doctrine of God, essentially one, Whose 
existence, essence, and attributes are to be investigated, While the 
arguments, strictly so called, for the existence of God are given in 
philosophy or in apologetics, dogmatic theology insists upon the 
revealed doctrine that God may be known from creation by reason alone, 
that is, without external revelation or internal illumination by grace. 
From this it follows at once that Atheism must be branded as heresy and 
that Agnosticism may not plead mitigating circumstances. Nor can 
Traditionalism and Ontologism be reconciled with the dogma of the 
natural knowableness of God. For if, as the Traditionalists assert, the 
consciousness of God's existence, found in all races and ages, is due 
solely to the oral tradition of our forefathers and ultimately to the 
revelation granted in Paradise, the knowledge of God derived from the 
visible creation is at once discounted. The same must be said of the 
Ontologists, who fancy that our mind enjoys an intuitive vision of 
God's essence, and is thus made certain of His existence. Likewise, to 
assume with Descartes an inborn idea of God (idea Dei innata) is out of 
the question; consequently, the knowableness of God by mere reason, 
means in the last analysis that His existence can be demonstrated, as 
the anti-Modernist oath prescribed by Pius X expressly affirms. But 
this method of arriving at a knowledge of God is toilsome; for it must 
proceed by way of denying imperfection in God and of ascribing to Him 
in higher excellence (eminenter) whatever perfections are found in 
creatures; nor does the light of revelation and of faith elevate our 
knowledge to an essentially higher plane. Hence all our knowledge of 
God on this earth implies painful deficiencies which will not be filled 
except by the beatific vision. 
The metaphysical essence of God is generally said to be self-existence, 
which means, however, the fullness of being (Gr. autousia), and not 
merely the negation of origin (ens a se--ens non ab alio). The so-
called positive aseity of Prof. Schell, meaning that God realizes and 
produces Himself must be as uncompromisingly rejected as the 
Pantheistic confusion of ens a se with the impersonal ens universale. 
The relation existing between God's essence and His attributes may not 
be called a real distinction (theoretical Realism, Gilbert de La 
Porrée), nor yet a purely logical distinction of the mind (Nominalism). 
Intermediary between these two objectionable extremes is the formal 
distinction of the Scotists. But the virtual distinction of the 
Thomists deserves preference in every regard, because it alone does not 
jeopardize the simplicity of the Divine Being. If self-existence is the 
fundamental attribute of God, both the attributes of being and of 
operation must proceed from it as from their root. The first class 
includes infinity, simplicity, substantiality, omnipotence, 
immutability, eternity, and immensity; to the second category belong 
omniscience and the Divine will. Besides, many theologians distinguish 
from both these categories the so-called moral attributes: veracity, 
fidelity, wisdom, sanctity, bounty, beauty, mercy, and justice. 
Monotheism is best treated in connection with God's simplicity and 
unity. The most difficult problems are those which concern God's 
knowledge, especially His foreknowledge of free future actions. For it 
is here that both Thomists and Molinists throw out their anchors to 
gain a secure hold for their respective systems of grace, the former 
for their prœmotio physica, the latter for their scientia media. In 
treating of the Divine will, theologians insist on God's freedom in His 
external activity, and when discussing the problem of evil, they prove 
that God can intend sin neither as an end nor as a means to an end, but 
merely permits it for reasons both holy and wise. while some 
theologians use this chapter to treat of God's salvific will and the 
allied questions of predestination and reprobation, others refer these 
subjects to the chapter on grace. 
Being the cornerstone of the Christian religion, the doctrine of the 
Trinity is thoroughly and extensively discussed, all the more because 
the Liberal theology of the Protestants has relapsed into the ancient 
error of the Antitrinitarians. The dogma of God's threefold 
personality, traces of which may be found in the Old Testament, can be 
conclusively proved from the New Testament and Tradition. The combat 
which the Fathers waged against Monarchianism, Sabellianism, and 
Subordinationism (Arius, Macedonius) aids considerably in shedding 
light on the mystery. Great importance attaches to the logos-doctrine 
of St. John; but as to its relation to the logos of the Stoic 
Neoplatonists, the Jewish Philonians, and the early Fathers, many 
points are still in an unsettled condition. The reason why there are 
three Persons is the twofold procession immanent in the Godhead: the 
procession of the Son from the Father by generation, and the procession 
of the Holy Ghost from both the Father and the Son by spiration. In 
view of the Greek schism, the dogmatic justification of the addition of 
the Filioque in the Creed must be scientifically established. A 
philosophical understanding of the dogma of the Trinity was attempted 
by the Fathers, especially by St. Augustine. The most important result 
was the cognition that the Divine generation must be conceived as a 
spiritual procession from the intellect, and the Divine spiration as a 
procession from the will or from love. Active and passive generation, 
together with active and passive spiration, lead to the doctrine of the 
four relations, of which, however, only three constitute persons, to 
wit, active and passive generation (Father, Son), and passive spiration 
(Holy Ghost). The reason why active spiration does not result in a 
distinct (fourth) person, is because it is one and the same common 
function of the Father and the Son. The philosophy of this mystery 
includes also the doctrine of the Divine properties, notions, 
appropriations, and missions. Finally, with the doctrine of 
circuminsession which summarizes the whole theology of the Trinity, the 
treatment of this dogma is brought to a fitting conclusion. 
B. Creation (De Deo creante) 
The first act of God's external activity is creation. The theologian 
investigates both the activity itself and the work produced. With 
regard to the former, the interest centres in creation out of nothing, 
around which, as along the circumference of a circle, are grouped a 
number of secondary truths: God's plan of the universe, the relation 
between the Trinity and creation, the freedom of the Creator, the 
creation in time, the impossibility of communicating the creative power 
to any creature. These momentous truths not only perfect and purify the 
theistic idea of God, they also give the death-blow to heretical 
Dualism (God, matter) and to the Protean variations of Pantheism. As 
the beginning of the world supposes creation out of nothing, so its 
continuation supposes Divine conservation, which is nothing less than a 
continued creation. However, God's creative activity is not thereby 
exhausted. It enters into every action of the creature, whether 
necessary or free. What is the nature of God's universal co-operation 
with free rational beings? On this question Thomists and Molinists 
differ widely. The former regard the Divine activity as a previous, the 
latter as a simultaneous, concursus. According to Molinism, it is only 
by conceiving the concourses as simultaneous that true freedom in the 
creature can be secured, and that the essential holiness of the Creator 
can be maintained, the fact of sin notwithstanding. The crowning 
achievement of God's creative activity is His providence and universal 
government which aims at the realization of the ultimate end of the 
universe, God's glory through His creatures. 
The work produced by creation is divided into three kingdoms, rising in 
tiers one above another: world; man; angel. To this triad correspond 
dogmatic cosmology, anthropology, angelology. In discussing the first 
of these, the theologian must be satisfied with general outlines, e. g. 
of the Creator's activity described in the hexaemeron. Anthropology is 
more thoroughly treated, because man, the microcosm, is the centre of 
creation. Revelation tells us many things about man's nature, his 
origin and the unity of the human race, the spirituality and 
immortality of the soul, the relation of soul and body, the origin of 
individual souls. Above all, it tells us of supernatural grace with 
which man was adorned and which was intended to be a permanent 
possession of the human race. The discussion of man's original state 
must be preceded by a theory of the supernatural order without which 
the nature of original sin could not be understood. But original sin, 
the willful repudiation of the supernatural state, is one of the most 
important chapters. Its existence must be carefully proved from the 
sources of faith; its nature, the mode of its transmission, its 
effects, must be subjected to a thorough discussion. The fate of the 
angels runs in many respects parallel to that of mankind: the angels 
also were endowed with both sanctifying grace and high natural 
excellences; some of them rose in rebellion against God, and were 
thrust into hell as demons. While the devil and his angels are inimical 
to the human race, the faithful angels have been appointed to exercise 
the office of guardians over mankind. 
C. Redemption (De Deo Redemptore) 
As the fall of man was followed by redemption, so the chapter on 
creation is immediately followed by that on redemption. Its three main 
divisions: Christology, Soteriology, Mariology, must ever remain in the 
closest connection. [For the first of these three (Christology) see the 
separate article.]
1. Soteriology
Soteriology is the doctrine of the work of the Redeemer. As in 
Christology the leading idea is the Hypostatic Union, so here the main 
idea is the natural mediatorship of Christ. After having disposed of 
the preliminary questions concerning the possibility, opportuneness, 
and necessity of redemption, as well as of those regarding the 
predestination of Christ, the next subject to occupy our attention is 
the work of redemption itself. This work reaches its climax in the 
vicarious satisfaction of Christ on the cross, and is crowned by His 
descent into limbo and His ascension into heaven. From a speculative 
standpoint, a thorough and comprehensive theory of satisfaction remains 
still a pious desideratum, though promising attempts have often been 
made from the days of Anselm down to the present time. It will be 
necessary to blend into one noble whole the hidden elements of truth 
contained in the old patristic theory of ransom, the juridical 
conception of St. Anselm, and the ethical theory of atonement. The 
Redeemer's activity as Mediator stands out most prominently in His 
triple office of high priest, prophet, and king, which is continued, 
after the ascension of Christ, in the priesthood and the teaching and 
pastoral office of the Church. The central position is occupied by the 
high-priesthood of Christ, which manifests the death on the cross as 
the true sacrifice of propitiation, and proves the Redeemer to be a 
true priest. 
2. Mariology 
Mariology, the doctrine of the Mother of God, cannot be separated 
either from the person or from the work of the Redeemer and therefore 
has the deepest connection with both Christology and Soteriology. Here 
the central idea is the Divine Maternity, since this is at once the 
source of Mary's unspeakable dignity and of her surpassing fullness of 
grace. Just as the Hypostatic Union of the Divinity and humanity of 
Christ stands or falls with the truth of the Divine Maternity, so too 
is this same maternity the foundation of all special privileges which 
were accorded to Mary on account of Christ's dignity. These singular 
privileges are four: her Immaculate Conception, personal freedom from 
sin, perpetual virginity, and her bodily Assumption into heaven. For 
the three former we have doctrinal decisions of the Church, which are 
final. However, though Mary's bodily Assumption has not yet been 
solemnly declared an article o faith, nevertheless the Church has 
practically demonstrated such to be her belief by celebrating from the 
earliest times the feast of the Assumption of the Mother of God. Two 
more privileges are connected with Mary's dignity: her special 
mediatorship between the Redeemer and the redeemed and her exclusive 
right to hyperdulia. Of course, it is clear that the mediatorship of 
Mary is entirely subordinate to that of Her Divine Son and derives its 
whole efficacy and power therefrom. In order the better to understand 
the value and importance of Mary's peculiar right to such veneration, 
it will be well to consider, by way of contrast, the dulia paid to the 
saints and, again, the doctrine concerning the veneration paid to 
relics and images. For the most part, dogmatic theologians prefer to 
treat these latter subjects under eschatology, together with the 
Communion of Saints. 
3. Grace (De gratia)
The Christian idea of grace is based entirely upon the supernatural 
order. A distinction is made between actual and sanctifying grace, 
according as there is question of a supernatural activity or merely the 
state of sanctification. But the crucial point in the whole doctrine of 
grace lies in the justification of the sinner, because, after all, the 
aim and object of actual grace is either to lay the foundation for the 
grace of justification when the latter is absent, or to preserve the 
grace of justification in the soul that already possesses it. The three 
qualities of actual grace are of the utmost importance: its necessity, 
its gratuitousness, and its universality. Although on the one hand we 
must avoid the exaggeration of the Reformers, and of the followers of 
Baius and Jansenius, who denied the capability of unaided nature 
altogether in moral action, yet, on the other hand, theologians agree 
that fallen man is quite incapable, without the help of God s grace, of 
either fulfilling the whole natural law or of resisting all strong 
temptations. But actual grace is absolutely necessary for each and 
every salutary act, since all such acts bear a causal relation towards 
the supernatural end of man. The heretical doctrines of Pelagianism and 
Semipelagianism are refuted by the Church's doctrinal decisions based 
upon Holy Scripture and Tradition. From the supernatural character of 
grace flows its second quality: gratuitousness. So entirely gratuitous 
is grace that no natural merit, no positive capability or preparation 
for it on the part of nature, nor even any purely natural petition, is 
able to move God to give us actual grace. The universality of grace 
rests fundamentally upon the absolute universality of God's salvific 
will, which, in regard to adults, simply means His antecedent will to 
distribute sufficient grace to each and every person, whether he be 
already justified or in the state of sin, whether he be Christian or 
heathen, believer or infidel. But the salvific will, in as far as it is 
consequent and deals out just retribution, is no longer universal, but 
particular, for the reason that only those who persevere in justice, 
enter heaven, whereas the wicked are condemned to hell. The question of 
the predestination of the blessed and the reprobation of the damned is 
admittedly one of the most difficult problems with which theology has 
to deal, and its solution is wrapped in impenetrable mystery. The same 
may be said of the relation existing between grace and the liberty of 
the human will. It would be cutting the Gordian knot rather than 
loosing it, were one to deny the efficacy of grace, as did Pelagianism, 
or again, following the error of Jansenism, deny the liberty of the 
will. The difficulty is rather in determining just how the acknowledged 
efficacy of grace is to be reconciled with human freedom. For centuries 
Thomists and Molinists, Augustinians and Congruists have been toiling 
to clear up the matter And while the system of grace known as syncretic 
has endeavoured to harmonize the principles of Thomism and Molinism, it 
has served but to double the difficulties instead of eliminating them. 
The second part of the doctrine on grace has to do with sanctifying 
grace, which produces the state of habitual holiness and justice. 
Preparatory to receiving this grace, the soul undergoes a certain 
preliminary process, which is begun by theological faith, the 
"beginning, root and foundation of all justification", and is completed 
and perfected by other supernatural dispositions, such as contrition, 
hope, love. The Protestant conception of justifying faith as a mere 
fiducial faith is quite as much at variance with revelation as is the 
sola fides doctrine. Catholics also differ from Protestants in 
explaining the essence of justification itself. while Catholic dogma 
declares that justification consists in a true blotting-out of sin and 
in an interior sanctification of the soul, Protestantism would have it 
to be merely an external cloaking of sins which still remain, and a 
mere imputation to the sinner of God's or Christ's justice. According 
to Catholic teaching, the forgiveness of sin and the sanctification of 
the soul are but two moments of one and the same act of justification, 
since the blotting-out of original and mortal sin is accomplished by 
the very fact of the infusion of sanctifying grace. Although we may, to 
a certain extent, understand the nature of grace in itself, and may 
define it philosophically as a permanent quality of the soul, an 
infused habit, an accidental and analogous participation of the Divine 
nature, yet its true nature may be more easily understood from a 
consideration of its so-called formal effects produced in the soul. 
These are: sanctity, purity, beauty, friendship with God, adopted 
sonship. Sanctifying grace is accompanied by additional gifts, viz., 
the three theological virtues, the infused moral virtues, the seven 
gifts of the Holy Ghost, and the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost 
in the soul of the justified. This latter it is that crowns and 
completes the whole process of justification. We must also mention 
three qualities special to justification or sanctifying grace: its 
uncertainty, its inequality, and the possibility of its being lost. All 
of them are diametrically opposed to the Protestant conception, which 
asserts the absolute certainty of justification, its complete equality, 
and the impossibility of its being lost. Finally, the fruits of 
justification are treated. These ripen under the beneficent influence 
of sanctifying grace, which enables man to acquire merit through his 
good works, that is to say, supernatural merit for heaven. The doctrine 
on grace is concluded with the proof of the existence, the conditions, 
and the objects of merit. 
4. Sacraments (De sacramentis) 
This section is divided into two parts: the treatise on the sacraments 
in general and that on the sacraments in particular. After having 
defined exactly what is meant by the Christian sacraments, and what is 
meant by the sacrament of nature and the Jewish rite of circumcision as 
it prevailed in pre-Christian times, the next important step is to 
prove the existence of the seven sacraments as instituted by Christ. 
The essence of a sacrament requires three things: an outward, visible 
sign, i.e. the matter and form of the sacrament; interior grace; and 
institution by Christ. In the difficult problem as to whether Christ 
himself determined the matter and form of each sacrament specifically 
or only generically the solution must be sought through dogmatic and 
historical investigations. Special importance attaches to the causality 
of the sacraments, and an efficacy ex opere operato is attributed to 
them. Theologians dispute as to the nature of this causality, i. e. 
whether it is physical or merely moral. In the case of each sacrament, 
regard must be had to two persons, the recipient and the minister. The 
objective efficacy of a sacrament is wholly independent of the personal 
sanctity or the individual faith of the minister. The only requisite is 
that he who confers the sacrament intend to do what the Church does. As 
regards the recipient of a sacrament, a distinction must be made 
between valid and worthy reception; the conditions differ with the 
various sacraments. But since the free will is required for validity, 
it is evident that no one can be forced to receive a sacrament. 
Furthermore, as regards the sacraments in particular, the conclusions 
reached with reference to the sacraments in general of course hold 
good. Thus in the case of the first two sacraments, baptism and 
confirmation, we must prove in detail the existence of the three 
requisites mentioned above, as well as the disposition of both the 
minister and the recipient. The question whether their reception is 
absolutely necessary or only of precept must also be examined. More 
than ordinary care is called for in the discussion of the Eucharist, 
which is not only a sacrament, but also the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 
Everything centres of course around the dogma of the Real Presence of 
Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. His presence there is 
effected by means of the transubstantiation of the Eucharistic elements 
and lasts as long as the accidents of bread and wine remain incorrupt. 
The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each 
individual species the whole Christ, flesh and blood, body and soul 
Divinity and humanity, is really present. The Holy Eucharist is, of 
course, a great mystery, one that rivals that of the Holy Trinity and 
of the Hypostatic Union. It presents to us a truth utterly variance 
with the testimony of our senses, asking us, as it does, to assent to 
the continued existence of the Eucharistic species without their 
subject, a sort of spiritual existence, unconfined by space, yet of a 
human body, and, again, the simultaneous presence of Christ in many 
different places. The sacramental character of the Eucharist is 
established by the presence of the three essential elements. The 
outward sign consists in the Eucharistic forms of bread and wine and 
the words of consecration. Its institution by Christ is guaranteed both 
by the promise of Christ and by the words of institution at the Last 
Supper. Finally, the interior effects of grace are produced by the 
worthy reception of Holy Communion. As Christ is wholly present in each 
species, the reception of the Eucharist under one species is sufficient 
to obtain fully all the fruits of the sacrament. Hence the chalice need 
not be communicated to the laity, though at times the Church has so 
allowed it to be, but not in any sense as though such were necessary. 
Not everyone is capable of pronouncing the words of consecration with 
sacramental effect, but only duly ordained bishops and priests; for to 
them alone did Christ communicate the power of transubstantiation in 
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A distinct phase of the Eucharist is 
its sacrificial character. This is proved not only from the oldest 
Fathers and the liturgical practice of the early Christian Church, but 
also from certain prophecies of the Old Testament and from the Gospel 
narrative of the Last Supper. To find the physical essence of the 
Sacrifice of the Mass, we must consider its essential dependence on, 
and relation to, the bloody sacrifice of the Cross; for the Mass is a 
commemoration of the latter, its representation, its renewal, and its 
application. This intrinsically relative character of the sacrifice of 
the Mass does not in the least destroy or lessen the universality and 
oneness of the sacrifice on the Cross, but rather presupposes it; 
likewise the intrinsic propriety of the Mass is shown precisely in 
this, that it neither effects nor claims to effect anything else than 
the application of the fruits of the sacrifice of the Cross to the 
individual, and this in a sacrificial manner. The essence of the 
sacrifice is generally thought to consist neither in the Offertory nor 
in the Communion of the celebrant, but in the double consecration. 
Widely divergent are the views of the theologians as to the 
metaphysical essence of the sacrifice of the Mass, that is to say, as 
to the question how far the idea of a real sacrifice is verified in the 
double consecration. A concurrence of opinion on this point is all the 
more difficult owing to the fact that the very idea of sacrifice is 
involved in no little obscurity. As regards the causality of the 
sacrifice of the Mass, it has all the effects of a true sacrifice: 
adoration, thanksgiving, impetration, atonement. Most of its effects 
are ex opere operato, while some depend on the co-operation of the 
participants. 
The Sacrament of Penance presupposes the Church's power to forgive 
sins, a power clearly indicated in the Bible in the words with which 
Christ instituted this sacrament (John, xx, 23). Moreover, this power 
is abundantly attested both by the patristic belief in the Church's 
power of the Keys and by the history of the ancient penitential system. 
As at the time of Montanism and Novatianism it was a question of 
vindicating the universality of this power, so nowadays it is a matter 
of defending its absolute necessity and its judicial form against the 
attacks of Protestantism. These three qualities manifest at the same 
time the intrinsic nature and the essence of the Sacrament of Penance. 
The universality of the power to forgive sins means that all sins 
without exception, supposing, of course, contrition for the same, can 
be remitted in this sacrament. Owing to its absolute necessity and its 
judicial form, however, the sacrament really becomes a tribunal of 
penance in which the penitent is at once plaintiff, defendant, and 
witness, while the priest acts as judge. The matter of the sacrament 
consists in the three acts of the penitent: contrition, confession, and 
satisfaction while the priestly absolution is its form. To act as judge 
in the Sacrament of Penance, the confessor needs more than priestly 
ordination: he must also have jurisdiction which may be restricted more 
or less by the ecclesiastical superiors. As the validity of this 
sacrament, unlike that of the others, depends essentially on the 
worthiness of its reception, great attention must be paid to the acts 
of the penitent. Most important of all is contrition with the purpose 
of amendment, containing, as it does, the virtue of penance. The 
opinion, held by many of the early Scholastics, that perfect contrition 
is required for the validity of the absolution, is quite irreconcilable 
with the ex opere operato efficacy of the sacrament; for sorrow, 
springing from the motive of perfect love, suffices of itself to free 
the sinner from all guilt, quite antecedent to, and apart from, the 
sacrament, though not indeed without a certain relation to it. 
According to the mind of the Council of Trent, imperfect contrition 
(attrition), even when actuated by the fear of hell, is sufficient for 
the validity of the sacrament, though we should, of course, strive to 
call in nobler motives. Therefore the addition of a formal caritas 
initialis to attrition, as the Contritionists of today demand for the 
validity of absolution, is superfluous, at least so far as validity is 
concerned. The contrite confession, which is the second act of the 
penitent, manifests the interior sorrow and the readiness to do penance 
by a visible, outward sign, the matter of the sacrament. Since the 
Reformers rejected the Sacrament of Penance great care must be bestowed 
upon the Biblical and patristic proof of its existence and its 
necessity. The required satisfaction, the third act of the penitent, is 
fulfilled in the penances (prayers, fasting, alms) which, according to 
the present custom of the Church, are imposed by the confessor 
immediately before the absolution. The actual fulfillment of such 
penances is not essential to the validity of the sacrament, but belongs 
rather to its integrity. The Church's extra-sacramental remission of 
punishment due to sin is called indulgence. This power of granting 
indulgences, both for the living and the dead, is included in the power 
of the Keys committed to the Church by Christ. 
Extreme Unction may be considered as the complement of the Sacrament of 
Penance, inasmuch as it can take the place of the latter in case 
sacramental confession is impossible to one who is unconscious and 
dangerously ill. 
While the five sacraments of which we have treated so far were 
instituted for the welfare of the individual, the last two Holy Orders 
and Matrimony, aim rather at the well-being of human society in 
general. The Sacrament of Holy Orders is composed of various grades, of 
which those of bishop, priest, and deacon are certainly of a 
sacramental nature, whereas that of sub-deacon and the four minor 
orders are most probably due to ecclesiastical institution. The 
decision depends on whether or no the presentation of the instruments 
is essential for the validity of ordination. In the case of the 
subdiaconate and the minor orders this presentation indeed occurs, but 
without the simultaneous imposition of hands. The common opinion 
prevalent today holds that the imposition of hands, together with the 
invocation of the Holy Ghost, is the sole matter and form of this 
sacrament. And since this latter obtains only in the case of the 
consecration of a bishop, priest, or deacon, the conclusion is drawn 
that only the three hierarchical grades or orders confer ex opere 
operato the sacramental grace, the sacramental character, and the 
corresponding powers. The ordinary minister of all orders, even those 
of a non-sacramental character, is the bishop. But the pope may 
delegate an ordinary priest to ordain a subdeacon, lector, exorcist, 
acolyte, or ostiarius. Beginning with the subdiaconate, which was not 
raised to the rank of a major order until the Middle Ages, celibacy and 
the recitation of the Breviary are of obligation. 
Three disciplines treat the Sacrament of Matrimony: dogmatic theology, 
moral theology, and canon law. Dogmatic theology leads the way, and 
proves from the sources of faith not merely the sacramental nature of 
Christian marriage, but also its essential unity and indissolubility. 
In the case of a consummated marriage between Christians the marriage 
bond is absolutely indissoluble; but where there is question of a 
consummated marriage between pagans the bond may be dissolved if one of 
the parties is converted to the Faith, and if the other conditions of 
what is known as the "Pauline Privilege" are fulfilled. The bond of a 
non-consummated marriage between Christians may be dissolved in two 
cases: when one of the parties concerned makes the solemn profession of 
religious vows, or when the pope, for weighty reasons, dissolves such a 
marriage. Finally, the grounds of the Church's power to establish 
diriment impediments are discussed and thoroughly proved. 
5. Eschatology (De novissimis) 
The final treatise of dogmatic theology has to do with the four last 
things. According as we consider either the individual or mankind in 
general, there is seen to be a double consummation of all things. For 
the individual the last things are death and the particular judgment, 
to which corresponds, as his final state and condition, either heaven 
or hell. The consummation of the human race on doomsday will be 
preceded by certain indications of the impending disaster, right after 
which will occur the resurrection of the dead and the general judgment. 
As for the opinion that there will be a glorious reign of Christ upon 
earth for a thousand years previous to the final end of all things, 
suffice it to remark that there is not the slightest foundation for it 
in revelation, and even a moderate form of Chiliasm must be rejected as 
untenable. 
Definition and Nature: KUHN, Einleitung in die katholische Dogmatik 
(2nd ed., Tübingen, 1859); SCHRADER, De theologia generatim (Freiburg, 
1861); HUNTER, Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, I, (London, 1894); 1 
sqq.; WILHELM AND SCANNELL, A Manual of Catholic Theology Based on 
Scheeben's Dogmatik, I (London, 1899), 1 sqq.; VAN NOORT, De fontibus 
revelationis necnon de fide divina (2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1911); 
PICCIRELLI, De catholico dogmate universim. Disquisitio theologica 
contra Modernistas (Rome, 1911); POHLE, God: His Knowability, Essence 
and Attributes, tr. PREUSS, (St. Louis, 1911), pp. 1-14; SCHEEBEN, Die 
Mysterien des Christentums (3rd ed., Freiburg, 1912); SCHANZ in 
Kirchenlexikon, s. v. Theologie. -- From the Anglican standpoint: HALL, 
Introduction to Dogmatic Theology (New York, 1907). 
Dogmatic Theology as a Science: SCHANZ, Ist die Theologie eine 
Wissenschaft? (Tübingen, 1900); BRAIG, Freiheit der philosophischen 
Forschung in kritischer u. christlicher Fassung (Freiburg, 1894); VON 
HERTLING, Das Princip des Katholicismus u. die Wissenschaft (4th ed., 
Freiburg, 1899); PERTNER, Voraussetzungslose Forschung, freie 
Wissenschaft u. Katholicismus (Vienna, 1902); DONAT, Freiheit der 
Wissenschaft (Innsbruck, 1910); FÖRSTER, Autoriät u. Freiheit (Kempten, 
1910); COHAUSS, Das moderne Denken oder die moderne Denkfreiheit u. 
ihre Grenzen (Cologne, 1911). -- About the anti-Modernist oath cf. 
REINHOLD, Der Antimodernisteneid u. die Freiheit der Wissenschaft 
(Vienna, 1911); BAUR, Klarheit u. Wahrheit. Eine Erklärung des 
Antimodernisteneids (Freiburg, 1911); MARX, Der Eid wider den 
Modernismus u. die Geschichtsforschung (Trier, 1911); MAUSBACH, Der Eid 
wider den Modernismus (Cologne, 1911); VERWEYEN, Philosophie u. 
Theologie im Mittelalter. Die historischen Voraussetzungen des 
Antimodernismus (Bonn, 1911). 
The Methods: DE SMEDT, Principes de la critique historique (Liege, 
1883); LANGLOIS ET SEIGNOBOS, Introduction aux études historiques (3rd 
ed., Paris, 1905); BERNHEIM, Lehrbuch der historischen Method u. 
Geschichtsphilosophie (5th ed., Leipzig, 1908). -- On the Scholastic 
method cf. KLEUTGEN, Theologie der Vorzeit, V (2nd ed., Münster, 1874), 
1 sq.; WOLFF, Credo ut intelligam: Short Studies in Early Greek 
Philosophy and its Relation to Christianity (London, 1891); RICKABY, 
Scholasticism (London, 1909); GRABMANN, Geschichte der scholastischen 
Methode, I,II (Freiburg, 1909-11). On Neoscholasticism cf. TALAMO, Il 
rinnovamento del pensiere tomistico (Siena, 1878); BERTHIER, L'étude de 
la Somme théologique de St. Thomas (Fribourg, 1893); DE WULF, 
Introduction à la philosophie néoscolastique (Louvain, 1904). – 
Subsidiary to these are: SIGNORIELLO, Lexicon peripateticum 
philosophico-theologicum (Naples, 1872); SCHÜTZ, Thomas-Lexikon (2nd 
ed., Paderborn, 1895); GARCIA, Lexicon schoIasticum, in quo 
definitiones, distinctiones et effata a Joanne Duns Scoto exponuntur 
(Quaracchi, 1910). -- Periodicals: Divus Thomas (Piacenza, 1879); 
Jahrbuch für Philosophie u. spekulative Theologie by COMMER (Paderborn, 
1887---); Philosophisches Jahrbuch der Görresgesellschaft (Fulda, 1888-
--); Revue thomiste (Fribourg, 1893---); Revue néo-scolastique 
(Louvain, 1894---); Rivista di Filosofia neo-scholastica (Florence, 
1908---); Ciencia tomista (Madrid, 1909---). -- On Mysticism cf. 
SANDREAU, Les degrés de la vie spirituelle (2 vols., Angers, 1897); 
IDEM, La vie d'union à Dieu (Angers, 1900); IDEM, L'état mystique 
(Paris, 1903); IDEM, Les faits extraordinaires de la vie spirituelle 
(Angers, 1908); POULAIN, Des Grâces d'oraison (5th ed., Paris, 1906), 
tr. YORKE SMITH, the Graces of Interior Prayer (London, 1910); ZAHN, 
Einführung in die christliche Mystik (Paderborn, 1908); SHARPE, 
Mysticism: Its True Nature and Value (London, 1910). 
Relation to other Sciences: STAUDENMEIER, Encyklopädie der Theologie 
(Freiburg, 1834-40): WIRTHMÜLLER, Encyklopädie der katholischen 
Theologie (Landshut, 1874); KIHN, Encyklopädie u. Methodologie der 
Theologie (Freiburg, 1892); KRIEG, Encyklopädie der theologischen 
Wissenschaft nebst Methodenlehre (2nd ed., Freiburg, 1910); NEWMAN, 
Idea of a University (London, 1893); CLEMENS, De Scholasticorum 
sententia Philosophiam esse Theologiœ ancillam (Münster, 1857); KNEIB, 
Wissen u. Glauben (2nd ed., Mainz, 1902); CATHREIN, Glauben u. Wissen 
(5th ed., Freiburg, 1911); WILLMANN, Geschichte des Idealismus (3 
vols., Brunswick, 1908); HEITZ, Essai historique sur les rapports entre 
la Philosophie et la Foi de Bérenger à St. Thomas (Paris, 1909). 
Division and Contents: POHLE, Christlich-katholische Dogmatik in Die 
Kultur der Gegenwart by HINNEBERG (Leipzig, 1909), I, IV, 2, p. 37 
sqq.; HETTINGER, Timothy, or Letters to a Young Theologian, tr. STEPKA 
(St. Louis, 1902); HOGAN, Clerical Studies (Philadelphia, 1896); 
SCANNELL, The Priest's Studies (London, 1908). 

 

Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter

From the Catholic Encyclopedia 
Copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. 

Electronic version copyright © 1996 by New Advent, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

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