1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Langen, Joseph

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LANGEN, JOSEPH (1837–1901), German theologian, was born at Cologne on the 3rd of June 1837. He studied at Bonn, was ordained priest in 1859, was nominated professor extraordinary at the university of Bonn in 1864, and a professor in ordinary of the exegesis of the New Testament in 1867—an office which he held till his death. He was one of the able band of professors who in 1870 supported Döllinger in his resistance to the Vatican decrees, and was excommunicated with Ignaz v. Döllinger, Johann Huber, Johann Friedrich, Franz Heinrich Reusch, Joseph Hubert Reinkens and others, for refusing to accept them. In 1878, in consequence of the permission given to priests to marry, he ceased to identify himself with the Old Catholic movement, although he was not reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church. Langen was more celebrated as a writer than as a speaker. His first work was an inquiry into the authorship of the Commentary on St Paul’s Epistles and the Treatise on Biblical Questions, ascribed to Ambrose and Augustine respectively. In 1868 he published an Introduction to the New Testament, a work of which a second edition was called for in 1873. He also published works on the Last Days of the Life of Jesus, on Judaism in the Time of Christ, on John of Damascus (1879) and an Examination of the Vatican Dogma in the Light of Patristic Exegesis of the New Testament. But he is chiefly famous for his History of the Church of Rome to the Pontificate of Innocent III. (4 vols., 1881–1893), a work of sound scholarship, based directly upon the authorities, the most important sources being woven carefully into the text. He also contributed largely to the Internationale theologische Zeitschrift, a review started in 1893 by the Old Catholics to promote the union of National Churches on the basis of the councils of the Undivided Church, and admitting articles in German, French and English. Among other subjects, he wrote on the School of Hierotheus, on Romish falsifications of the Greek Fathers, on Leo XIII., on Liberal Ultramontanism, on the Papal Teaching in regard to Morals, on Vincentius of Lerins and he carried on a controversy with Professor Willibald Beyschlag, of the German Evangelical Church, on the respective merits of Protestantism and Old Catholicism regarded as a basis for teaching the Christian faith. An attack of apoplexy put an end to his activity as a teacher and hastened his death, which occurred in July 1901.  (J. J. L.*)