Kraus, Franz Xaver

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Church and art historian; b. Trier, Germany, Sept. 18, 1840; d. San Remo, Italy, Dec. 28, 1901. He was ordained in 1864; he became professor of the history of Christian art at Strassburg in 1872, and of Church history at Freiburg im Breisgau in 1878. As a leader of the liberal wing of Catholic scholars, he criticized the centralization of Church government and the Ultramontanes (see ultramontanism) and attempted to provide a reconciliation between Catholicism and modern culture, as well as between Church and State in the kulturkampf difficulties. He was a Dante scholar and essayist who raised Christian archeology and art history to independent disciplines in Germany. His diaries are important for the history of the Church in the 19th century. His Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte went through four editions (Trier 187296) during his lifetime. He produced the two-volume Realencyklopädie der christl. Altertümer (Freiburg 188386); the Geschichte der christl. Kunst in two volumes (Freiburg 18951900), and several studies of ancient Christian art and inscriptions in Alsace-Lorraine and the Rhineland. His diaries (Tagebücher ) were published by H. Schiel (Cologne 1957).

Bibliography: c. braig, Zur Erinnerung an F. X. Kraus (Freiburg 1902). h. schiel, Im Spannungsfeld von Kirche und Politik: F. X. Kraus (Trier 1951); F. X. Kraus und die Katholische Tübinger Schule (Ellwangen 1958). h. tritz, "F. X. Kraus und P. M.A. Hughes," Spicilegium Historicum Congregationis SSmi Redemptoris 11 (1963) 182232.

[h. schiel]