Skip to main content

Schwane, Joseph


Theologian; b. Dorsten, Westphalia, April 2, 1824;d. Münster, June 6, 1892. He was ordained in 1849, became Privatdocent in the theological faculty at Münster in 1853, assistant professor of moral theology and history of dogma in 1859, and professor of the same in 1867. In 1881 he was given the chair of dogmatic theology, which he retained until his death. Schwane was the first German theologian to produce a major work on the whole history of dogma. His Dogmengeschichte (4 v., v.1, 2 Münster, 186269; v.3, 4, Freiburg 188290) is still considered a respectable work in its field as Schwane conceived this to be. Each volume covers a given periodpre-Nicene, late patristic, scholastic, and modernand is divided according to the division of dogmatic topics commonly used in manuals of dogmatic theology in Schwane's time. However, the work as a whole is notably more dogmatic than historical in character, and it amounts in fact to an exposition of dogma in the light of history. For that reason it is not quite a history of dogma in the sense in which the term later came to be understood. Schwane also published two systematic works on moral theology, Spezielle Moraltheologie (3 v. Freiburg 187378) and Allgemeine Moraltheologie (Freiburg 1885), and some monographs of importance, among which were Controversia de valore baptismi haereticorum (Münster 1860), De operibus supererogatoriis et consiliis evangelicis (Münster 1868), Die theologische Lehre über die Verträge (Münster 1871), and Die eucharistische Opferhandlung (Freiburg 1889).

Bibliography: g. fritz, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 14.1:1583. e. hegel, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:531. m. ott, The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. c. g. herbermann, 16 v. (New York 190714; suppl. 1922) 13:592.

[p. k. meagher]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Schwane, Joseph." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 19 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Schwane, Joseph." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 19, 2019).

"Schwane, Joseph." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.