Jesuit moral theologian; b. Constance, Aug. 12, 1654; d. Rome, July 16, 1723. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1669, and from 1685 to 1714 he taught theology at Ingolstadt and Dillingen. He was rector of the college at Dillingen for two years, and in 1716 he was called to Rome to serve as revisor general of the society and prefect of studies at the German college. Rassler was deeply engaged in the theological disputes of his day that revolved around the theory of probabilism and was one of the leading German Jesuits who sought to hold a moderate position against the extremes of rigorism and laxism. After producing a number of works dealing with the subject of probabilism, he summarized his thought well in his Norma recti (Ingolstadt 1713). This work presents a point of view that would later be called equiprobabilism. By the time that equiprobabilism gained stature in theological circles, the work of Rassler had been forgotten. He apparently, however, influenced the thinking of Eusebius amort, to whom St. Alphonsus Liguori acknowledged his indebtedness, and thereby indirectly contributed to the formation of the theory of equiprobabilism.
Bibliography: c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (Brussels-Paris 1890–1932; v. 12, suppl.1960) 6:1461–64. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae, 5 v. in 6 (3d ed. Innsbruck 1903–13); v. 1 (4th ed. 1926) 4:1298–99. r. brouillard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 13.2:1675–77.
[j. c. willke]