Our 90-year-old confrere completes the dissertation begun with Karl Rahner


Our confrere, Fr Augustin Schmied C.Ss.R., completed his doctoral studies on 11 May, which he had begun in 1957.

In 1957 Fr Augustin Schmied was released by the leadership of the then Province of Munich to begin doctoral studies at the University of Innsbruck. His doctoral supervisor at the time was the famous Jesuit Karl Rahner. The young doctoral student was to write his dissertation on the theory of “Fides implicita”. However, before he could finish his project, he was appointed a professor at the Redemptorist Seminary in Gars am Inn. Later, Fr Schmied was also a professor at our Seminary in Hennef/Geistingen as well as a lecturer at the Institute for Teacher Training in Gars. He also worked as an editor for the journal “Theologie der Gegenwart”, as a book author, and was also pastorally active.

So he had to put his doctoral thesis on the back burner and always continued to work on his doctoral topic.

Now at the age of 90, everything came to a good end. His original doctoral supervisor Karl Rahner died in 1984, but the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Innsbruck was prepared to accept the completed doctoral thesis.

At the defence of his thesis on 11 May, Fr Schmied proved to be a brilliant theologian both in his lecture and in the subsequent discussion with the professors. He was convincing with his extensive and deep knowledge of the subject as well as with his ability to present the topic clearly and understandably.

At the same time, he also demonstrated humour, for example, when he remarked in the introduction to his lecture: “With my long period of study, I am perhaps not necessarily a role model for today’s students.” The professors saw it differently and gave his doctoral thesis the highest grade.

It should be noted that Fr Augustin Schmied had already been awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the University of Erfurt in 2008. So this respect, he is now even a double doctor.

We congratulate him!

Dominic O’Toole, C.Ss.R., Maria am Gestade, Vienna

Photos: Rendika Nugraha / Universität Innsbruck

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