Although Mariology has been a flashpoint of contention between Catholics and Protestants, Mary plays an important role in doctrine, and should be studied for no other reason than she is the mother of Jesus.
In this short volume, Pohle exhibits a historical and theological mastery of the issue in his explanation of the immaculate conception, the complex relationship between Mary and original sin, and the perpetual virginity. He also draws from Scripture and tradition to relate the eternal person of Christ to the temporal nature of his conception and birth—thereby thrusting Mary into the theological spotlight. Protestants will find Pohle’s theological discourse especially useful for understanding an important, yet controversial dogma. This volume concludes with a lengthy appendix on the veneration of saints, relics, and images.
Joseph Pohle (1852–1922) studied in Trier, Rome, and was ordained as a priest in 1878. He served as a professor in Baar, Switzerland from 1881 to 1883, as professor at St. Joseph’s College in Leeds, England from 1883 to 1886, and as professor of philosophy in Fulda from 1886 to 1889. In 1889, he moved to America to teach at the newly-founded Catholic University. Pohle returned to Europe in 1894, teaching at Münster and then Breslau, where he served as professor of dogma, and wrote his Dogmatic Theology. He was also a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia.