The name given to those members of the Company of Jesus who, from 1766 on, as professors at the University of Würzburg, published the Theologia Wirceburgensis. The name refers, then, to its origin and not to a definite theological trend. This theological series bears the title RR. PP. Societatis Jesu Theologia dogmatica, polemica, scholastica et moralis, praelectionibus publicis in alma Universitate Wirceburgensi accommodata (14 v. Würzburg 1766–71). The work was slightly altered when it was republished in ten volumes (Paris 1852), and still a third time (Paris 1879–80). The authors were Ignaz Neubauer, Heinrich Kilber, Thomas Holzklau, and Ulrich Munier. The work was actually begun when in 1749 they were asked by Karl Philipp von Greiffenklau, the prince-bishop and duke of the Franks, to produce it. The duke disapproved of "dictation" in theological lectures and wanted printed works used. The undertaking, then, grew out of the lectures given to theological students and was conceived as an aid for both the lectures themselves and personal study. The series contained all the theological disciplines commonly studied at the time and hence is a comprehensive handbook. It is of great importance for the history of 18th-century theological faculties and a valuable source for knowledge of the general history of theology. Its procedure is scholastic and speculative; yet it gives indications of the historico-critical method developing in the 18th century. Thus, although the work belongs to a former age, it stands on the line of demarcation between the old and the new, closing the doors on one era of theology and prudently opening them to another. A synthesis of tradition and progress with a stronger emphasis on tradition is characteristic of the work's theology. All in all, it belonged to the genuine achievements of Catholic theology in the 18th century and was, as the new editions showed, still useful to later times.
I. Neubauer (d. 1795) taught philosophy in Bamberg and Würzburg, oriental languages at Heidelberg, and dogmatic and moral theology at Würzburg. His apologetics were original enough and are found in Vera religio, volume 2 of the series.
H. Kilber (d. 1782), the most important of the four Wirceburgenses, taught exegesis and dogmatic theology in Heidelberg and Würzburg. In 1764 he accepted the chair of Holy Scripture that had been specially created for him. After the suppression of the society, he became rector of the Seminary of St. Charles and assessor of the faculty of theology in Heidelberg. His principal work is Novi Testamenti pars prima seu historica complectens historiam dominicam concordia evangeliorum concinnatam (Würzburg 1765; 2d ed. 1792). There followed an Analysis biblica (Heidelberg 1773).
T. Holzklau (d. 1783), in many respects more original than Kilber, taught philosophy in Würzburg, theology in Mainz, and dogmatic theology and exegesis in Würzburg. He published a chronology and history of the Book of Judith (Würzburg 1772), a work on Assuerus from the Book of Esther (Würzburg 1772), and the Prodromus complectens prolegomena in Scripturam s. Universam (Würzburg 1775), conceived as an introduction to a larger work, Institutiones Scripturisticae, which was not continued because of objections raised against it by e. klÜpfel.
U. Munier (originally Müller; d. 1759) taught the humanities in Erfurt, Worms, Baden, and Mannheim; philosophy in Aschaffenburg and Würzburg; Oriental languages in Heidelberg; and theology in Molsheim, Fulda, and Würzburg. His specialties were exegesis and dogmatic theology. His essays De incarnatione and De jure et justitia (Würzburg 1749) were not included in the Theologia Wirceburgensis.
The Würzburg theological collection was not a group project in the strict sense of the word; each author was alone responsible for that part written by him. They also made part of the collection individual sections of works published by other Jesuit theologians or added their own already edited works.
The following is the arrangement of the ten-volume Paris edition. Book 1 contains Kilber's Principia theologica ad usum candidatorum theologiae (already published in 1862, then included in the complete series). Book 2 contains Neubauer's Tractatus de religione. In book 3 are Kilber's De Deo uno et trino, De angelis, and De Deo creatore. The Incarnation is covered in book 4 by Holzklau. In book 5 Neubauer treats De beatitudine, De actibus humanis, and De legibus. Book 6 contains Holzklau's De jure et justitia and the tract De virtute from Lessius's work De justitia et jure. Book 7 contains Kilber's treatises: De peccato, De gratia, De justificatione, and De merito. Book 8 contains De virtutibus theologicis by Kilber with an appendix De virtutibus cardinalibus from the above-mentioned work of Lessius. Book 9 contains Holzklau's treatises: De sacramentis in genere, De baptismo, and De confirmatione et eucharistia; appended to this book is Holzklau's attempt to establish the authenticity of Pseudo-Dionysius's works. Book 10 offers the treatises De poenitentia et extrema unctione by Munier and De ordine et matrimonio by Holzklau. Lacking are special treatises on the Last Things and Mariology.
Bibliography: c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 1890–32) 4:437–441 (Holzklau), 1038–41 (Kilber); 5:1435–37 (Munier), 1638–41 (Neubauer). m. grabmann, Die Geschichte der katholischen Theologie (Freiburg 1933) 196. h. rondet, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant (Paris 1903–50) 15.2:3556–61.