This is the 1929 English translation of the original German text first published in 1924 and authored by one of the world’s most distinguished Christian philosophers, Dr. Karl Adam.
This book is a brilliant and evocative study of the fundamental concepts of the Catholic Faith, from its tenets, its historical development and the role of the Church in world society.
For many on the outside, Catholicism, according to Dr. Adam, represents a daunting and somewhat foreign confused mass of conflicting forces that has somehow survived the tests of time. Catholicism is simultaneously new yet quite old; holy yet corrupt; hierarchical yet personal; dogmatic yet utilitarian, and so on.
How can someone outside the Church get a good grasp on the essence of Catholicism when it is so vast and seemingly complex? Those attempting to grasp the very heart and spirit of Catholicism should read Karl Adam’s book, which is a most elegant and concise exploration of the faith and an attempt to address these ambiguities.
What are the fundamental attributes of the Catholic Church? What is the source from which it has drawn vigor and life through its two thousand years of life on earth? What are the secret sources of its incredible vitality in the world today? The author answers these and many other questions about the nature and structure of the Church. He examines the essential nature of the Catholic Church from the basic premise that it was expressly founded by Christ, traces its historical development and analyzes its actual functioning through the ages.
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About the Author
Born in Freudenberg, Bavaria in 1876, Dr. Adam attended the Philosophical and Theological Seminary at Regensburg and was ordained in 1900. He spent the next two years doing parish work and received his doctorate from the University of Munich in 1904.
In 1915, he became a professor of theology in Munich. Two years later, he accepted a chair in moral theology at Strasbourg and in 1919 he went to teach dogmatic theology at the University of Tübingen. He retired from that post in 1949.
Dr. Adam wrote extensively on theology. His books include: Tertullian’s Concept of the Church, Eucharistic Teaching of St. Augustine, Christ Our Brother, The Son of God, The Spirit of Catholicism, Roots of the Reformation, The Christ of Faith (Der Christus des Glaubens) and One and Holy.
Adam is best known for his 1924 work Das Wesen des Katholizismus (The Spirit of Catholicism), which was widely translated.
In 1934 he delivered a denunciation of the so-called German religion in an address on “The Eternal Christ”.
He died in 1966 in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg at the age of 89.
DOM JUSTIN MCCANN (born Philip Justin McCann: June 18, 1882 - February 19, 1959) was an English cleric, philologist, author and editor. He is best known for his translations of French and German theological works, including The Spirit of Catholicism (1929) and Saint Augustine: The Odyssey of His Soul (1932) by Dr. Karl Adam; The Rule of St. Benedict (1921) by The Right Rev. Dom Paul Delatte; and Vestments and Vesture: A Manual of Liturgical Art (1931) by Eugéne Roulin.
Born in Manchester, England, he was educated at Oxford University (St. Benet’s Hall) and resided in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, Liverpool, and Oxford.
He passed away in 1959 at the age of 76 and is buried at St. Mary’s in Warrington, Cheshire.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've read less than half of KARL ADAM'S book. Already, I want to recommend it: The Spirit of Catholicism. With so many misconceptions about religion out there these days, it is a very valuable book.