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Herder

HERDER

The name of a distinguished international Catholic publishing house owned by the Herder family in Freiburg im Breisgau.

Bartholomew (17741839) founded the house in 1801. A colorful and enterprising publisher, he edited, published, and printed the army newspaper and official bulletins of Metternich, whom he served as press liaison in Paris in 1815. Eventually he established an institute for lithography and engraving, which produced highly acclaimed atlases and scholarly publications.

Benjamin (181888), who succeeded his father Bartholomew, was the master architect of the Herder image "Universal-verlag." He expanded the firm's scope, emphasizing theological, encyclopedic, and other scholarly works. He published the Bible for Students (1848), which was translated into 60 languages. His contributions to Catholic publishing included the production of Kirchenlexikon (12 v. 184760), a monumental encyclopedia covering every aspect of theology; Theologische Bibliothek (31 v. 18821930), a theological library; and Konversations-Lexikon (5 v. 185357), a popular general encyclopedia. He published also Schott (1884), a popular layman's missal. Because of his farflung and varied publishing programs, Benjamin was a major influence in the Catholic revival of 19th-century Germany.

Hermann (18641937), Benjamin's son, broadened the firm's work into the fields of philosophy, political science, law, and archeology. He published papal encyclicals and initiated the publication of Ludwig von Pastor's History of the Popes (16 v. 18861933). Hermann also built an impressive new plant in Freiburg, and developed an international network of publishing and distributing divisions in Vienna, Rome, Barcelona, Tokyo, and St. Louis.

Theophil Herder-Dorneich (18981987), Hermann's son-in-law, assumed the firm's direction in 1937 at a difficult time. The Nazi regime blocked further expansion and threatened to close the house when the firm, "for reasons of conscience," refused to have articles in an encyclopedia rewritten to conform to Nazi ideology. In November 1944 the publishing house in Freiburg was completely destroyed by bombing, but the plant was reconstructed and modernized after the war. All standard works were reissued; a juvenile division, a book club, and several new magazines were added, a chain of 16 book stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland was developed, and branches of the firm were established in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo, and Bogotá. Under Herder-Dorneich's direction Herder Verlag has become the world's largest international Catholic publishing house. He also supervised the publication of a Catholic catechism that has been translated into 30 languages, and continued the firm's commitment to publish work to foster the new currents in the Church, especially those devolving from the work of vatican council ii and world ecumenism. (see ecumenical movement.)

Herder and Herder was established in New York City (1957) to carry on the firm's activities in the English-speaking world. A branch had been set up (1873) in St. Louis, Mo., but as a result of World War I it was incorporated in 1917 as a separate and autonomous firm, the B. Herder Book Company of St. Louis. The initial objective of Herder and Herder was to publish scholarly works from abroad in translation; in keeping with the spirit of the era inaugurated by Pope John XXIII, it successfully embarked upon a new program of publishing original works by U.S. scholars. An important facet of this project is the English-language publication of the ecumenical monthly for the Christian world, Herder Correspondence. The firm's affiliated organization, the Herder Book Center (New York City), distributes the publications of 25 other U.S. Catholic publishing houses, including a number of university presses.

[w. m. linz]

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