Adam, Karl

views updated


Historian of dogma and dogmatic theologian; b. Pursruck, Bavaria, Oct. 22, 1876; d. Tübingen, April 1, 1966. After ordination in 1900, Adam continued his studies at Munich, later devoting himself to teaching and pastoral duties there and in Strasbourg. In 1919 he became professor for dogmatic theology at the University of Tübingen, a post which he held until his retirement just after World War II.

At Tübingen his lectures and books enjoyed a favorable reception, especially The Spirit of Catholicism (1924). This book, his masterpiece, was translated into 11 languages; it communicated to Catholics all over the world a truly theological view of the Church with emphasis on the doctrine of the Mystical Body. Another muchtranslated work, The Son of God (1933), presented Christology in a language suitable to the needs of his contemporaries. His historical sense and sincere piety gave an added dimension not often found in theological popularizations. In his retirement he gave vigorous support to ecumenicism (One and Holy, 1948). His last major work was The Christ of Faith (1954).

Bibliography: aubert in Tendenzen der Theologie im 20. Jahrhundert, ed. h. j. schultz, (Stuttgart, Olten 1966) 156162. a. auer, "Karl Adam 18761966," Theologische Qartalschrift 150 (1970) 130143. j. stelzenberger, "Bibliographie Karl Adam," Theologie Quartalschrift 138 (1958) 330347. r. a. krieg, Karl Adam: Catholicism in German Culture (Notre Dame 1992).

[p. misner]