Church historian, b. March 1, 1795, at Passau, Bavaria; d. April 1, 1859
Damberger, JOSEPH FERDINAND.—church historian, b. March 1, 1795, at Passau, Bavaria; d. April 1, 1859, at Schaftlarn. After completing his earlier studies in the public schools of his native town, he pursued the study of law at Landshut, then studied theology at Salzburg, Landshut, and Munich, and was ordained priest in 1818. While at the Munich Lyceum he had also devoted himself very assiduously to historical studies. Until 1837 he was particularly active as a preacher at Landshut and at St. Cajetan's, Munich. His first historical works appeared at Ratisbon in 1831, three closely related narratives: "Fürstentafel der Staatengeschichte"; "Fürstenbuch zur Fürstentafel der europaischen Staatengeschichte"; "Sechzig genealogische, chronologische and statistische Tabellen zur Fürstentafel and Ftirstenbuch".
In 1837 he joined the Society of Jesus, completed his novitiate at Brieg, canton of Valais, Switzerland, where he spent about ten years, partly as a mission-preacher and partly as professor of ecclesiastical history at Lucerne. A collection of his mission sermons was printed (Lucerne, 1842; 2nd ed., 1852), but was violently attacked (Missionsunfug der Jesuiten; Bern, 1842). The defeat of the Sonderbund (1847) brought with it the expulsion of the Jesuits from Switzerland. Damberger then passed several years at Innsbruck and Ratisbon, and in 1853 became confessor at the Convent of Schaftlarn in Bavaria, where he died. In these years he published his principal work in fifteen volumes, "Synchronistische Geschichte der Kirche and der Welt i11I Mittelalter" (Ratisbon, 1850-63). The last volume was finished and published after his death by Father Daniel Rattinger. The narrative reaches the year 1378. For its day it was an important piece of work, though lacking a sufficient degree of the critical quality. It reveals, nevertheless, close application and extensive learning.
J. P. Klesen.