The French writer and theologian Lamennais (1782–1854) had a lasting influence on the revival of the Church and of Catholicism. His traditionalist faith in the power
of the truth and in humanity organically conceived also imparted appealed to German Catholics. Lamennais’s work effected a transformation from a defensive reaction against currents in modern
society into a positive attitude that sought to help shape the present and future. Because Lamennais succeeded not only in »composing voluminous, profound works« (I. Döllinger) but just as well, if
not better, in churning out pamphlets and in employing publicistic means in general, and because he was simultaneously a man of action, he helped decisively to mobilize and politicize German Catholics.
The present study demonstrates Lamennais’s importance by documenting and interpreting the lively debates over his work in Catholic periodicals from 1817–1854.