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Streit, Robert


Pioneer in Catholic mission science; b. Fraustadt (Posen), Germany, Oct. 27, 1875; d. Frankfurt am Main, July 31, 1930. In 1895 he entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. After ordination he became editor of the mission periodical of the Oblates. In this position he conceived the idea of starting a movement for the scientific investigation of the missionary apostolate. His first important treatises on missiology were Die Theologischwissenschaftliche Missionskunde (1909) and Die Missions in Exegese und Patrologie (1910). At the German Catholic Congress held at Breslau in 1909, there was established a missionary commission of which he was a member. When this commission met in Berlin in 1910, the idea for a scientific missionary periodical was raised. Through Streit's influence, Joseph schmidlin founded the first scientific mission journal in German.

Streit's principal work was the Bibliotheca Missionum, a bibliography of all literature concerning the missions. Documents, letters, pamphlets, and the like are described in detail with scholarly references and editorial comment. One volume appeared each year. Seven had appeared before Streit's death in 1930. After his death, J. Dindinger, who had collaborated with him and who succeeded him as prefect of the Pontifical Library of Missions, continued the work. There were more than 20 volumes in the series by 1964.

At the request of Pope Pius XI, Streit produced Die Weltmission der Katholischen Kirche, Zahlen und Zeichen (1927), a study of the Vatican Mission Exposition of 1925. This amazing array of facts about every mission area in the world was published in five languages. The English version, Catholic Missions in Figures and Symbols, was published in 1927. Streit's other important works are Opfer der Hottentotten (1907); Katholische deutsche missionsliteratur (1925), a history of German Catholic mission literature from 1800 to 1925, with a bibliography; and Missionspredigten (3 v. 19141918).

Bibliography: r. streit and j. dindinger, Bibliotheca missionum (Freiburg 1916) 6:IXXIII. j. pietsch, P. Robert Streit, Pionier der Missionswissenschaft (Beckenried 1952).

[j. a. mccoy]

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