Robert A. Krieg, C.S.C.
Karl Adam illuminates the life and work of one of the most highly respected and widely read Catholic theologians of the twentieth century—a theologian who not only influenced such diverse thinkers as Pope Paul VI, Karl Rahner, and Flannery O’Connor, but who also had a tremendous impact on Vatican II. Here Robert Anthony Krieg, C.S.C., unites biography and theology in an insightful analysis of Adam’s most influential works, showing how he crafted a theology for his time, one that embodied the central tenets of Christian belief while simultaneously adopting the language of German neoromanticism.
The book spans the century from Vatican I to Vatican II. Krief begins by describing Adam’s work against the backdrop of German Catholics’ struggle to enter the cultural mainstream. He then analyzes Adam’s major writings in the context of the Weimar Republic and the theological fermentation between the wars. Adam’s confrontation with Nazism and his impact upon ecumenism and Christology after the Second World War are also discussed. The last chapter appraises Adam’s reliance on German neoromanticism for his “theology of life.”
Church leaders, historians, and theologians will appreciate this stimulating case study on Catholicism and inculturation, which locates Adam’s efforts at theological renewal in relation both to Rome’s defensive stance against modernity and Berlin’s nationalism during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich.
“Krieg has carefully woven this account together with a narration of Adam’s life in a manner that lets the reader taste and feel Germany during these tumultuous years. The text is written in a clear style and complex points are analyzed and presented in their essential elements.” — The Catholic World
“Krieg’s book is a worthy attempt to explain and evaluate the life and writings of a theologian whose work is central to the modern theological task.” — Theological Studies
“On the whole, Krieg’s study is valuable for the careful delineation it gives of the niche that Karl Adam carved out for himself in the history of Catholic theology between the Modernist controversy and the Second Vatican Council.” — The Catholic Historical Review