Matthias Joseph Scheeben

1835-1888. German Roman Catholic theologian. After studies at the Gregorian University, Rome, he became professor of dogma at the Cologne seminary from 1860 until his death. His vast writings combined patristic and Scholastic learning with speculative thought. Although written in a style which was sometimes obscure, they have exerted considerable influence. Scheeben was regarded as the greatest speculative Catholic theologian of his day and a pioneer of Neoscholasticism. He was a great opponent of rationalism, and a leader of conservative Catholic theology. He took a vigorous part in the controversies attending the First Vatican Council* (1869- 70), was a staunch defender of papal infallibility, and an opponent of Döllinger* and the Old Catholicism. His writings include Nature and Grace (1861; ET 1954); Die Mysterien des Christentums (1865); and the magisterial Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik, I-III (1873-87; 4th volume added later by L. Atzberger). A Manual of Catholic Theology based on Scheeben's “Dogmatik” was published in English in 1890. Extracts were published as Mariology (1946). A Festschrift celebrating the centenary of his birth was published in Rome in 1935.