Hubert Wolf (theologian)

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Hubert Wolf (born November 26, 1959 in Wört , Ostalbkreis ) is a German church historian . Wolf is a 2003 Leibniz Prize winner .


Wolf was born in 1959 in the Swabian town of Wört. He graduated from high school in May 1978 at the Peutinger-Gymnasium , Ellwangen and then studied Catholic theology at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich with a focus on Middle and Modern Church History as well as later exegesis of the New and Old Testaments. In 1983 he passed his diploma and continued his training in the seminary . Wolf was ordained a priest in 1985 and was active in the pastoral care of his home diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart until 1990 . In the same year he became a heretic or doctor of the church? The Tübingen theologian Johannes von Kuhn (1806–1887) received his doctorate from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in the debates on church politics of his time . In 1991 he completed his habilitation with the thesis Die Reichskirchenpolitik des Haus Lorhringen (1680–1715); a Habsburg secondary school in the empire? in Middle and Modern Church History at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen .

In 1992 he was appointed full professor at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main . In 1999, Wolf moved to the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster as a C4 professor and, as Arnold Angenendt's successor, also became director of the seminar for Middle and Modern Church History at the Catholic Department. In 2002 he was elected a full member of the Historical Commission for Westphalia . In the same year he became head of the DFG long-term project "Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation". Since 2008 he has been the head of the DFG long-term project “Critical Online Edition of the Nunciature Reports Eugenio Pacellis (1917–1929)”.


Hubert Wolf is regarded as an outstanding representative of the younger generation of church historians, who have taken the subject out of the narrower disciplinary ghetto and integrated it into larger interdisciplinary contexts in the history of politics and science. His main areas of research include the representation of the imperial church connections and the evaluation and indexing of the archives of the Inquisition and the papal index congregation stored in Rome . Wolf had access to the files since 1992, before the official opening of the archives in 1999 by Pope John Paul II . In the same year he was appointed to the international scientific advisory board of the archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith .

An accidental discovery of files led to his scientific book The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio . The content is the scandal in the Roman monastery of the same name in the middle of the 19th century, which had a significant impact on the history of the church. The book received a strong press response and came in first place in the non-fiction best-list of Süddeutscher Zeitung and Norddeutschem Rundfunk in May 2013. The 2015 book Krypta. Suppressed Traditions of Church History uses a few examples to reveal forgotten or suppressed traditions of the Catholic Church.

Since 2013, Wolf and Andreas Wirsching have been managing the twelve-year edition of the diaries of Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber .

In July 2019, Wolf calls for the admission of married priests alongside celibate priests to the Roman Catholic Church.


Memberships (selection)

Publications (selection)

  • as editor with Claus Arnold : The German-speaking countries and the II. Vaticanum (= program and impact history of the II. Vaticanum . Volume 4). Schöningh, Paderborn 2000, ISBN 3-506-73764-3 .
  • Inquisition, index, censorship: Modern cultures of knowledge in conflict. Schöningh, Paderborn 2001, ISBN 3-506-77670-3
  • Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation. Basic research: 1814–1917; Introduction 1814–1917. Schöningh, Paderborn 2005, ISBN 3-506-72950-0
  • Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation. Basic research: 1814–1917; Volume I: Roman book bans. Schöningh, Paderborn 2005, ISBN 3-506-71722-7
  • Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation. Basic research: 1814–1917; Volume II: Systematic Repertory on Book Censorship 1814–1917. Index Congregation 1814–1917 (two volumes). Schöningh, Paderborn 2005, ISBN 3-506-71387-6
  • Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation. Basic research: 1814–1917; Volume III: Prosopography (two volumes). Schöningh, Paderborn 2005, ISBN 3-506-71386-8
  • Index. The Vatican and the Forbidden Books. CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-54371-5
  • Pope and the devil. The Archives of the Vatican and the Third Reich. CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 3-406-57742-3
  • The Sproll affair - The Rottenburg bishops' election 1926/27 and their background. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2009, ISBN 978-3-7995-0830-8
  • Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation . Basic research 1701–1813; 5 volumes. Schöningh, Paderborn 2009 and 2010. A register volume was in preparation in 2010.
  • (Editor) Antimodernism and Modernism in the Catholic Church. Contributions to the theological- historical foreground of Vatican II . Schöningh, Paderborn 1998, ISBN 3-506-73762-7
  • Editor together with Judith Schepers: In a wild, rampant hunt for something new. 100 years of modernism and anti-modernism in the Catholic Church. Schöningh, Paderborn 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76511-6
  • (Editor) “True” and “False” holiness. Mysticism, power and gender roles in Catholicism of the 19th century (= writings of the Historisches Kolleg. Colloquia. Vol. 90) . Oldenbourg, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-486-71611-5 ( digitized version )
  • The nuns of Sant'Ambrogio . A true story. CH Beck, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-406-64522-8 . ( Review of the Süddeutsche Zeitung ).
  • Crypt. Suppressed Traditions of Church History. CH Beck, Munich 2015. ISBN 978-3-406-67547-8 .
  • Arrival December 24th. Rediscover Christmas. Lambert Schneider Verlag, Darmstadt 2015, ISBN 978-3-6504-0067-3 .
  • Conclave. The secrets of the papal election . CH Beck, Munich 2017 (on questions of papal election , popular science), ISBN 978-3-406-70717-9 .
  • Celibacy: 16 theses , CH Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-74185-2 .
  • The infallible: Pius IX. and the invention of Catholicism in the 19th century , CH Beck, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-406-75575-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Deep insights into the world of hypocrites. In: February 17, 2013, accessed April 27, 2018 .
  2. Urs Hafner: Sexual life as worship. In: NZZ. Retrieved November 10, 2017 .
  3. The nuns of Sant 'Ambrogio - A true story. In: Retrieved November 10, 2017 .
  4. ^ Critical online edition of the diaries of Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber (1911–1952). In: Retrieved November 10, 2017 .
  5. ^ Church historian Wolf: Abolition of compulsory celibacy commanded. In: July 15, 2019, accessed August 3, 2019 .
  6. Members / individuals. In: Retrieved August 3, 2019 .
  7. SWR2: Brave in Faith - New Findings about Joannes Baptista Sproll , accessed on November 10, 2017