Kramp, Joseph

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Liturgist; b. Kerpen, Rhineland, June 19, 1886; d. Frankfurt, June 14, 1940. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1905. During World War I he served as a chaplain in German army hospitals. For a short while he taught in Bombay but returned to Germany because of poor health. From 1928 to 1940, though he lived the life of a quiet scholar in Frankfurt, he exerted an especially strong influence on the Catholic German youth movement. In the field of his special competence, pre-Tridentine theology, he published ten major and minor works, several of which have been translated. He won international recognition for his work Eucharistia (Freiburg 1924; English tr. St. Paul, Minn. 1926). In it he offers the first analysis of the late medieval changes of attitude toward the Eucharist. His published writings also include: Die Opferanschauungen der römishen Messliturgie (Regensburg 1920), Mess. liturgie and Opfergedanken (Regensburg 1921), and Messliturgie und Gottesreich in three volumes (Freiburg 1921). A great part of his endeavor was given to a study of the Liturgical Year. Avoiding the then prevalent tendency to moralize, his method consisted in a careful analysis of the liturgical texts. His books also show a remarkable eschatological tendency long before this became common in the writings of other liturgists. Unfortunately, because of his daring interpretation of the sacrificial character of the Mass, he was excluded from academic offices.

[h. a. reinhold]