Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
Publisher: Baronius Press
Publication Date: November 18, 2013
Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma has been considered as the definitive single volume summary of Catholic dogmatic theology ever since its original publication in German in 1952. This great work by Ludwig Ott presents a comprehensive yet concise outline of the entire system of Catholic doctrine, laying out its sources in Scripture and Tradition as taught by the Magisterium of the Church. The level of authority behind each doctrinal point is indicated and there are frequent references to the teachings of Fathers, Doctors and numerous Saints of the Church.
This definitive work of dogmatics is presented in a language that is both academically rigorous and accessible to laymen. Whilst written for study purposes it is suitable to anyone who wants to go beyond the basics in understanding the faith.
The new edition of the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Baronius Press is based on the original translation by Dr. Patrick Lynch. It has been fully revised and updated and brings the language into greater harmony with current usage.
Ludwig Ott was born in Neumarkt-St. Helena, Germany in 1906. He was ordained a priest in 1930 and received his doctorate in 1936 after studying under Martin Grabmann, one of the 20th century’s greatest authorities on medieval scholasticism. That same year he became a professor of dogmatics in the Catholic University of Eichstätt, rising to full professor in 1941. From 1960 to 1962 he served as the university’s rector. His studies in the field of dogmatics and the history of scholasticism made him eminently qualified to write the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. He also wrote works on the history of medieval spirituality and theology and on the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Ludwig Ott died in Eichstätt in 1985.
Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma has proven to be an indispensable guide to Catholic doctrine since it was first published in the 1950’s. Whether in the original language or in its French and English translations, it has been favoured by generations of readers because of its rare combination of relative brevity with comprehensiveness. I congratulate Baronius Press and Dr. Robert Fastiggi for bringing out this comprehensively revised translation of the last edition of the Fundamentals.
We live at a time of grave doctrinal confusion when the sheep are often left without shepherds. Against the dangers of doctrinal ambiguity and the loss of clarity in moral matters, the faithful are called more than ever to seek to know their faith, so they can defend it and pass it on to their children. Catechism is necessary, but perhaps now it is not enough to only know one’s Catechism. The subtlety of the many contemporary errors assaulting the faith practically require from the ordinary faithful today a good understanding of Catholic doctrine that is not separated from its traditional and immutable roots. For this task, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma is eminently suitable. It presents the immutable truths of Catholic theology backed by the teachings of the Magisterium in the past two millennia, not the latest speculations of fashionable and media-friendly theologians who in reality want another religion. It uses language that is simple and clear – virtues often forgotten today – and is brief enough to fit into one volume. May it help the light of faith shine clearer and brighter for countless Catholic faithful, may it help them live the faith in all its purity. And to all who read this book I grant my blessing.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C.,
Titular Bishop of Celerina
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana