Elbel, Benjamin

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Franciscan moral theologian; b. Friedburg, Bavaria, 1690?; d. Soeflingen, near Elm, June 4, 1756. Very little is known of his early life and education. He joined the Order of Friars Minor Recollect and eventually rose to the office of minister provincial of the Strassburg province, serving one term from 1735 to 1738. Elbel taught theology in various seminaries and houses of study of his order, and is best known as a moral theologian. He published his Theologiae moralis decalogalis et sacramentalis per modum conferentiarum casibus practicis illustrata (Venice 1731), as well as an account of the history of the Franciscan Order, Ortus et progressus ordinis minorum S. Francisci ultra quinque saecula (Monaco 1732). Elbel was a skillful casuist, a probabilist whose works and teaching were sound in doctrine; no controversy attends his name.

Bibliography: h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae 3 4:1635.

[a. j. clark]