The Tübingen School of Johann Sebastian Drey (1777-1853) and Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838) represents a particularly rich vein of Catholic thought in the nineteenth century. In particular they exploited the Idealistic (and Schleiermacher's) emphasis upon the importance of the social dimension of life and thought to apologetic effect for Catholicism in opposition to Protestantism, and applied this principle to an understanding of church history Mohler and Drey both saw Catholic dogma in organic terms, and drew upon the Romantic interest in the realm of the symbolic. In many respects they represented the flowering of a tradition that built upon the innovating work of the highly influential figure of Georg Hermes (1775-1831) and the so-called Hermesianism (representing a certain style of Kantianism) of the Viennese Anton Günther (1783-1863), who developed a more explicitly Idealistic and speculative philosophical theology.9 Two other important figures were the brilliant and eccentric Franz von Baader (1765-1841) - a man who embodies the linkbetween the French mystical tradition in de Maistre and Schelling- and Hegel, who did much to reawaken interest in medieval German mysticism. Von Baader was appointed to a philosophical chair in Munich in 1826. The Bavarian capital also possessed in Johann Josef Gorres (1776-1848), appointed to a chair of history in 1827, a vigorous and brilliant polemicist and publicist for Catholicism.

Amidst the birth pangs of the Italian Risorgimento the 'ontologism' of Gioberti (1801-52) and Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (1797-1855) belongs to the general nineteenth-century revival of Platonism of the Augustinian-Franciscan kind which stresses the immediacy of the soul's relation to God and hence has affinities with German Idealism and the Platonising strands in the French Restoration thought of de Maistre. The journey of the finite mind to God in philosophy and religion points to the congruity of thought and being in God as absolute subjectivity. Both Gioberti and Rosmini were averse to the strong division between natural and supernatural in traditional textbook Thomism, and stressed the importance of personal judgement. They were doubtful of the apologetic value of crude supernaturalism and critical of an excessive asceticism in ethics and an exaggerated appeal to authority in theology. They were both criticised for excessive immanentism, rationalism and pantheism.

Despite their own internal disagreements, they were both aware of the deep traditions of this strand of Christian thought in the patristic and medieval eras and of the need to restate the Christian faith in credible modern terms. Rosmini

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