LOISY, ALFRED FIRMIN° (1857–1940), French biblical commentator and theologian. Born in Ambrières (Haute-Marne), Loisy was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1879. He studied at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where he later lectured in Hebrew and exegesis. He was dismissed in 1893 on the order of the pope for the publication of his article "La Question biblique et l'inspiration des Ecritures," which took a view opposed to the traditional teaching of the Church. His special approach to biblical research and interpretation aroused the suspicion of the Catholic Church authorities, who also condemned his essay La religion d'Israël (1900; The Religion of Israel, 1910). In 1902 he published L'Evangile et l'Eglise (1902; The Gospel and the Church, 1903) which, though intended as a Catholic answer to the work of Adolph von Harnack, was unacceptable to the Church. The work was favorably received throughout Europe, but was placed on the Church Index of forbidden books. From 1901 onward he taught the history of the Christian religion at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Pratiques. Loisy's polemics with the Church attracted considerable attention in Europe, especially after he was excommunicated in 1908. From 1909 to 1932 he was professor of Church history at the Collège de France. Loisy is considered the leading exponent of biblical "modernism" and of the critical approach in the study of the New Testament and the problems of the Christian faith. He denied the supernatural inspiration of the Bible and based his research on a critical study of the sources and philological analysis. After World War I he became active in a new field of religious meditation, which paved the way for a progressive and humanistic sociology of religion. The majority of his works were banned by the papal orders of 1932 and 1938. Loisy founded and directed the bimonthly Revue de l'enseignement biblique until 1894, and from 1896 to 1922 edited the Revue d'histoire et de littérature religieuse. The most important of his works are Histoire du Canon de l'Ancien Testament (1890); Les Evangiles synoptiques (2 vols., 1907–08); Les origines du Nouveau Testament (1936; The Origins of the New Testament, 1950); and Les mystères païens et le mystère chrétien (1919, 19302). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Lepin, Les Théories de M. Loisy: Exposé et Critique (1909); N.Y. Lagrange, A. Loisy et le Modernisme (1932); Petre, in: The Hilbert Journal, 39 (1940), 5–14; F. Heiber, Der Vater des Katholischen Modernismus: A. Loisy (1947); A. Moutin, La question biblique au XIX siècle (1902); A. Détrez, L'Abbé Loisy… (1909), includes bibliography. (Zevi Baras)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Loisy, Alfred Firmin — ▪ French theologian born Feb. 28, 1857, Ambrières, Fr. died June 1, 1940, Ceffonds       French biblical scholar, linguist, and philosopher of religion, generally credited as the founder of Modernism, a movement within the Roman Catholic church… …   Universalium

  • Loisy, Alfred Firmin — (1857–1940)    Theologian.    Loisy was born in Ambrières, France, and was educated at the Institut Catholique in Paris. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1879 and, after serving in a parish, he returned to Paris where he worked on the… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Alfred Firmin Loisy — (* 28. Februar 1857 in Ambrières, Marne; † 1. Juni 1940 in Ceffonds, Haute Marne) war ein französischer katholischer Theologe und Historiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke (frz.) 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Alfred Loisy — Alfred Firmin Loisy (* 28. Februar 1857 in Ambrières, Marne; † 1. Juni 1940 in Ceffonds, Haute Marne) war ein französischer katholischer Theologe und Historiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke (frz.) 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • modernism — /mod euhr niz euhm/, n. 1. modern character, tendencies, or values; adherence to or sympathy with what is modern. 2. a modern usage or characteristic. 3. (cap.) Theol. a. the movement in Roman Catholic thought that sought to interpret the… …   Universalium

  • religion, study of — Introduction       attempt to understand the various aspects of religion, especially through the use of other intellectual disciplines.       The history of mankind has shown the pervasive influences of religion, and thus the study of religion,… …   Universalium

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