Jungmann, Josef Andreas
JUNGMANN, JOSEF ANDREAS
Austrian Jesuit, inspirer of the liturgical and catechetical renewal; b. Sand near Taufers, South Tirol (pre–World War I Austria), Nov. 16, 1889; d. Innsbruck, Jan. 26, 1975. After theological studies in the diocesan seminary of Brixen, S. Tirol, he was ordained on July 27, 1913. His work as assistant pastor in Niedervintl and Gossensasz, before becoming a Jesuit, Sept. 13, 1917, contributed substantially to the basically pastoral orientation of his later scientific work. From 1925 at the University of Innsbruck, he taught pastoral theology, catechetics, and liturgy until 1963, with an interruption from 1938 to 1945 when Hitler closed the theology faculty of the university. Jungmann was also editor (1926–63) of Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie (again with an interruption, 1938–45). After having contributed through his writings to creating the general theological and pastoral climate for Vatican Council II, he was chosen, Aug. 25, 1960, to be a member of the conciliar Preparatory Commission. He continued his intensive and dedicated work during the council as a highly esteemed peritus of the Commission for Liturgy and after the Council as consultor of the Consilium (the commission entrusted with the implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy).
Superb mastery of his subject; penetrating, wellbalanced, and impartial judgment; an exceptional gift of inspiration for sound and timely developments within the church, especially in the fields of liturgy and preaching; deep respect for the achievements of others who engaged in the same field of studies; and his proverbial modesty— all won Jungmann many friends and enthusiastic admirers. Festschriften of his colleagues, friends, and former students on his 60th, 70th, and 80th birthdays, as well as honors conferred by his country, manifested the great and general appreciation of him and his work. Jungmann's special talent consisted in letting the past teach an understanding and right evaluation of the present and point to right solutions for the future. Although outstanding in historical research, he was never lost in its details nor did he ever pursue history for its own sake. Solid historical research was for him the indispensable tool for a right assessment of the present condition of the Christian community and its need for genuine, penetrating renewal. His deep faith and his imperturbable adherence to the Church did not prevent him from seeing clearly and presenting with respectful objectivity unhealthy and harmful trends and developments of the past in Christian worship and preaching. The mere fact that, e.g., the leaders of the Church authorized and contributed to an ever-decreasing active participation of the people in the official worship of the Church, does not prove that this development was healthy and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is the special merit of Jungmann that, with his thorough historical studies combined with deep understanding of the conditions of authentic historical development, he undermined any simplistic interpretation of the Church's guidance by the Holy Spirit and opened the way to the needed thorough reform. At first many, including also prominent leaders of the Church, considered Jungmann to be unorthodox; but soon the weight of his incontestable reasons and also his modest and prudent presentation achieved general recognition and admiration. Without the self-sacrificing work of forerunners like Jungmann the reform as initiated by Vatican II could never have happened.
Writings. Although his 1924 doctoral thesis (never published) dealt with the catechesis on grace in the early Church, the field of Jungmann's special studies was liturgy and in particular the history of the Latin liturgy and the problems of an authentic liturgical renewal. His very first book Die Stellung Christi im liturgischen Gebet (1925; tr. The Place of Christ in Liturgical Prayer, 1965) is a masterpiece of his own method. Through a thorough study of the official worship of the Church it delineates, although only implicitly, the much-needed renewal of devotional prayer. Similarly, he paved the way for the timely renewal of the rites of penance in Die lateinischen Buszriten (1932). His Die liturgische Feier. Grundsätliches und Geschichtliches über Formgesetze der Liturgie (1938; 4th rev. ed. 1965) is a precious study on the nature and form of authentic liturgical celebration outside of sacramental liturgy; it appeared in English as The Liturgy of the Word (1966). In Gewordene Liturgie (1940) the best of Jungmann's numerous articles reached a larger audience. Jungmann used the academic exile imposed by Hitler for preparing his main work, which made him suddenly world famous, Missarum Sollemnia. Eine genetische Erklärung der römischen Messe (2 v., 1948; 5th ed.1965). It was soon translated into all major European languages: the complete English translation of F. A. Brunner, The Mass of the Roman Rite (2 v., New York 1950) was followed by an abridgement by C. Riepe (1 v., New York 1959). Probably more than any other single book, Missarum Sollemnia prepared for and favored the conciliar reform of the Latin liturgy. Another significant work was Der Gottesdienst der Kirche (1955, 3d ed. 1962; tr. Public Worship, 1957). The lectures Jungmann gave in the summer of 1949 at the University of Notre Dame appeared first in English as Early Liturgy to the Time of Gregory the Great (1959; Ger. 1967). Liturgisches Erie und pastorale Gegenwart (1960) collects articles and conferences of general interest into one volume. The last two books, Christliches Gebet im Wandel und Bestand (1969) and Messe im Gottesvolk. Ein nachkonziliarer Durchblick durch Missarum Sollemnia (1970) are the crowning conclusion of an extremely rich and intensive literary activity: 304 books and articles, not counting some 800 shorter reviews of books. After Jungmann's death The Mass, an Historical, Theological and Pastoral Survey (1976) was published.
Because his masterful research and towering authority were almost exclusively in the history of liturgy and liturgical renewal, one may easily overlook Jungmann's momentous contribution to the renewal of catechesis and preaching. He is the acknowledged initiator and most prominent exponent of the second phase of modern catechetics known as kerygmatic renewal. It led to a shift of emphasis from method to content in all forms of the ministry of the Word. The kerygmatic approach means that any authentic announcing of God's word to young and old alike must concentrate on the good news of salvation by which God challenges sinful man to a new life in Christ. How biblical, liturgical, and kerygmatic renewal must be seen and actualized as partial aspects of a thorough integral pastoral renewal Jungmann showed best in his classic Die Frohbotschaft und unsere Glaubensverkündigung (1936); abridged English ed. The Good News Yesterday and Today, 1962, tr. W. A. Huesman, with essays, ed. J. Hofinger, appraising its contribution to pastoral renewal. When the book appeared it was so much ahead of the times that only swift withdrawal from the market could save it from ecclesiastical condemnation. But it had served its purpose. Hardly any other book anticipated and prepared for Vatican II's pastoral renewal as much as Jungmann's controversial book. During the council, without any further opposition, its revised edition appeared: Glaubensverkündigung im Lichte der Frohbotschaft (1963; Eng. tr. Announcing the Word of God, 1967). Great influence was also exerted by Katechetik. Aufgabe und Methode der religiösen Unterweisung (1953; 5th ed. 1968; tr. Handing On the Faith, 1959). His Christus als Mittelpunkt religiöser Erziehung (1939) brings out the central position of Christ in genuine catechesis.
Bibliography: b. fischer and h. b. meyer, eds., J. A. Jungmann, Ein Leben für Liturgie und Kerygma (Innsbruck 1975) 156–207. j. hofinger, "J. A. Jungmann," Living Light 13 (1976) 350–359. f. x. arnold and b. fischer, eds., Die Messe in der Glaubensverkündigung (Freiburg 1950; 2d ed. 1953). b. fischer and j. wagner, eds., Paschatis Sollemnia. Studien zu Osterfeier und Osterfrömmigkeit (Freiburg 1959). For Jungmann's 80th birthday, a separate issue of Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 91 (1969) 249–516.