Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Books by Joseph Braun SJ Available Online

The books of the German Jesuit theologian and art historian Fr Joseph Braun SJ (1857-1947) are no doubt known to many of the NLM readers (they have repeatedly been quoted on the NLM, see e.g. here or here). His books on vestments (paramentics) and the altar in the form of manuals are still considered seminal and standard works. It is with great pleasure therefore that I have recently discovered that most of his books are available online via the website of the university library of the Rupert Charles University of Heidelberg.

Here I give you the links to the pages for the different books, from where you can either read them online or download them as pdf files:

Der christliche Altar in seiner geschichtlichen Entwicklung (Band 1): Arten, Bestandteile, Altargrab, Weihe, Symbolik [The Christian Altar in its Historical Development. Vol. 1: Types, Components, Altar Cavity, Consecration, Symbolism]

Der christliche Altar in seiner geschichtlichen Entwicklung (Band 2): Die Ausstattung des Altars, Antependien, Velen, Leuchterbank, Stufen, Ciborium und Baldachin, Retabel, Reliquien- und Sakramentsaltar, Altarschranken [The Christian Altar in its Historical Development. Vol. 2: The Appointments of the Altar, Frontals, Vela, Gradines, Steps, Ciborium and Tester, Reredos, Relic and Sacrament Altar, Altar Rails]

Das christliche Altargerät in seinem Sein und in seiner Entwicklung [The Christian Altar Furniture in its Being and in its Development]

Handbuch der Paramentik [Manual of Paramentics]

Praktische Paramentenkunde [Practical Paramentics]

Die Reliquiare des christlichen Kultes und ihre Entwicklung [The Reliquaries of Christian Worship and their Development]

Fr Braun dedicated several of his books to the then reigning Roman Pontiffs, and since they are classic exeamples of how such dedications used to be made, I will quote here the dedication from his book "Das christliche Altargerät":

PIO PAPAE XI.
CHRISTI•IESU
AETERNI•IN•CAELIS•PONTIFICIS
VICARIO•IN•TERRIS•SUMMOQUE•SACERDOTI
RERUM•LITURGICARUM•NECNON
ARCHAEOLOGIAE•CHRISTIANAE•STUDIORUM
FAUTORI•PROMOTORI•CULTORI
EXCELSO•ATQUE•PROVIDO
COMMENTARIOS•HOS•DE•SACRA•SUPELLECTILI
AUGUSTISSIMO•CULTUI•EUCHARISTICO•SERVIENTE
IN•REVERENTIIS•PII•GRATI•ANIMI•SIGNUM•ET•PIGNUS
D.D.D.
SANCTISSIMI•PATRIS•FILIUS•ET•SERVUS

Josephus Braun S.J.