Faber, Johann Augustanus

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Dominican humanist and theologian; b. Augsburg (not Fribourg, Switzerland), 1475; d. 1530. He made his profession at the Dominican priory at Augsburg, and undertook theological studies in Italy, principally at Venice. In 1507 he was promoted to master of theology in a general chapter at Padua, and in that year returned to Augsburg as prior. In 1511 he was vicar-general of the Dominican Congregation of upper Germany, with the priories of Augsburg, Würzburg, Speyer, Constance, Fribourg, Strassburg, Haguenau, and Zurich under his jurisdiction. From 1512 to 1515 he began the reconstruction of the convent church at Augsburg with funds that accrued from the preaching of a jubilee indulgence conceded by a bull of Leo X. Emperor Maximilian decreed against the bull on March 7, 1515, but reversed his judgment on April 13. In this year Faber disputed with Johann Eck at Bologna on usury and interest, and on his return to Germany was made imperial councilor. Long convinced that thorough classical training was a necessary preparation for a critical study of the Scriptures, the Fathers, and theology, he interested Maximilian in the erection of an Athenaeum at Augsburg, but the Emperor's death on Jan. 12, 1519, brought the project to a standstill. He traveled to the Netherlands with Cardinal Matthäus Lang at the end of 1520 to win the support of the new Emperor Charles V. There he discussed his views with Erasmus. In 1521 he wrote anonymously the Consilium cuiusdam ex animo cupientis esse consultum et R. pontificis dignitati et christianae religionis tranquillitati, in which he sympathized with the Lutheran revival of classics. As Luther's theology developed, however, Faber became his firm opponent. This new stand antagonized the humanists and earned him hostility at Augsburg, which he left in 1525, seeking refuge with Cardinal Lang in Salzburg. He returned briefly the next year but again fled.

Bibliography: k. schottenloher, Bibliographie zur deutschen Geschichte im Zeitalter der Glaubensspaltung 1:239. j. quÉtif and j. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum (New York 1959) 2.1:80. r. coulon, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 190350) 5.2:204650, where the errors in Quétif-Échard are corrected. a. duval, Catholicisme 4:103233. w. eckert, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 195765) 3:133031. n. paulus, Die deutschen Dominikaner im Kampfe gegen Luther, 151863 (St. Louis, Mo. 1903) 292313.

[e. d. mcshane]