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Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma: [Paperback]

Ludwig Ott , James C. Bastible , Patrick Lynch

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Tan Books & Pub (March 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895550091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895550095
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 14.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #699,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
The word theology, according to its etymology, means "teaching concerning God" (, de divinitate ratio sive sermo: St. Augustine, De civ. Dei VIII I). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What Roman Catholics are Required to Believe Feb. 24 2002
During my spiritual journey to find a home, I came to rely on this excellent compendium of solid catholic theology during a time when I found most clergy and laity unsure of what it was they did believe -- or believed anything they wanted, despite centuries of belief to the contrary. As a resource document, it is without parallel after the Documents of Vatican II.
The documents of Vatican II are a clearer, wider, and more spiritual exposition of what the Church today believes. But sometimes, with so many mixed messages from pulpit and revisionists, the Documents of Vatican II can present difficulties to those uncertain of core beliefs.
That's where this book comes in. This book is systematic theology at its best. It posits the dogmas of the Church in a clear and unequivocal manner, and then goes about supplying the historical foundations for these dogmas. These foundations include ecumenical councils as well as writings of the saints. If a certain proposition is "de fide," it is of unquestioned belief. But there are other propositions that are not "de fide," that are provided to sharpen the core deposit from speculative ideas.
I refer to this book often when I come across propositions I find either doubtful or equivocal. Not only does it provide the clear and unadulterated truths of the catholic faith, but it provides the raison d'etre for those truths, making it a wealth of clear exposition of why catholics believe what they believe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Research Tool! Feb. 12 2001
The most accurate thing that can be said about Ott's effort is that this book is a veritable compendium of Catholic theology.
Ott gives significant attention to dogmas which are considered de fide, those matters that Catholics must believe. Good examples of these things in the book are the divinity of Christ, the Trinity etc. However, Ott does not ignore other doctrine which is not de fide but must command the religious assent of all Catholics. The treatment of these subjects is equally comprehensive.
If you are considering doing any scholarly work in the field of Catholic doctrine, this book is a must. If you are teaching Catholic doctrine to others, this resource is valuable as a tool for checking to make sure that your teaching is orthodox.
Ott does not stop at providing scriptural citations for Catholic doctrine. His most impressive effort is citation to Church history and texts from early fathers which clearly support the doctrine.
The next step would be to get ahold of those source documents. This book is comprehensive. The casual reader should probably not expect to be able to glide through its pages from front to back. I tried it and never quite made it through.
However, it is one of the best resources I have in my home library. A serious student of Christian apologetics and Catholic apologetics in particular must buy this book.
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This book is a wonderfully precise and concise summary of the Church's dogmatic theology, and with due respect to a previous reviewer, it is not a bit out-of-date. It is not intended to be an expanded or detailed discussion of theological problems, so of course it is recommended that people also read the works of orthodox theologians such as Hans Urs von Balthazaar, Henri de Lubac, and (especially) John Paul II; and they should also examine the beautiful teachings of Vatican II. Nevertheless, the dogmas summarized in the _Fundamentals_ are timeless.
What makes this volume so valuable is its precision and clarity: one can easily look up a particular doctrine of the Church and see what status it has---that is, how formally it has been defined by the Church. Moreover, for every point of doctrine it states with exact precision which opinions are consonant with Church teaching, which are tolerated, and which are contrary. These are things that are beyond the scope of, say, the new Universal Catechism. However, all well-informed Catholics ought to know them.
The _Fundamentals_ is highly recommended, and I urge all Catholics who want to know their faith well to get the book along with the new Universal Catechism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars required reading for all Catholics July 30 2000
By A Customer
If I were the apostolic nuncio to the United States I would command all Catholic high school graduates in America to receive training in Ludwig Ott's book. It's the clearest, most concise, and yet comprehensive study of the dogmas of the faith.
The dogmas are given in a clear statement, with the level of certainty to which they are held in the Church, and must be therefore held by the Faithful. (eg. 'De Fide' is 'of the Faith' and must be believed by all Catholics. 'Sententia Fide Proxima' is a doctrine generally recognized by theologians but not formally pronounced by the Church, etc.)
While the other reviewers have repeatedly mentioned the brevity of Ludwig Ott's book, be assured that his presentations are thorough and theologically deep. Each doctrine is given with its scriptural basis, its historical development in the writings the Fathers, the statements of the councils of the Church, the heretical counter arguments against each dogma, and the theological and philosophical arguments that form the Church's basic arguments for each doctrine. I was gratified to find that many of the clever and less than obvious scripture arguments for our Faith used by popular apologists like Scott Hahn, Gerry Matatix, and Tim Staples, are found in this old classic book, which draws its arguments from classical Catholic lines of thought dating from Trent and the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church.
One essential feature of Ludwig Ott's writing is his forthright clarity. He openly and clearly states if a doctrine has no explicit scriptural reference and has only implicit support. He states openly when the Fathers are divided on a doctrine, and states the philosophical arguments through which the Church resolves the issue.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars De fide, two words not heard enough today
Nothing is ever quite so blunt as dogma. Nor as charming. Buy this if you are either a Catholic who has no idea what "Fr. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Gregory J. R. Bourke
5.0 out of 5 stars Dogma isTruth and Truth is Dogma
One of the best books I think you'll find on Catholic truth.
Which is the only truth there is when it comes to Religion! Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Superb
I can't recommend this book highly enough. This is the definitive reference manual for the Catholic faith. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2002 by A. Vivolo
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Reference
Being published in the 1950's in no way diminishes the "up to dateness" of this work. While the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" should be the first teaching... Read more
Published on Dec 8 2001 by Zachary Flummerfelt
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reference Work
This great book is very comprehensive, structured, and a great resource to look up (or just browse!) what the Catholic Church teaches and why. Generally, for each doctrine, Fr. Read more
Published on June 21 2001 by M. P. D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful encyclopedia of dogmatic theology
Ludwig Ott's work is an extremely useful reference tool for anyone wanting to know what the Church teaches. Read more
Published on June 20 2001 by Patrick Teasley
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book which fulfills. . .
. . .the purpose for which it was written. Another reviewer correctly commented that this work is not a systematic theology. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2000 by David Zampino
3.0 out of 5 stars Hopelessly Out-Dated and Sterile but Still Valuable
Perusing the comments below, I would like to offer my two cents. First, Ott's book is good for what it does--namely, it is a great encyclopedia of dogmatic theology. Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2000 by Jeff Ambrose
5.0 out of 5 stars Great amount of Information
Leaving no stone unturned, Ludwig Ott gets down to the basics and tells us everything. Using the Bible, Church Fathers, Popes, Councils, Theologians, and many other sources, he... Read more
Published on July 26 2000
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