Josef Lehner, Prof. Dr.

15.2.1888 – 3.8.1949
born in Wien, Austria died in Wien, Austria


Senator Faculty of Catholic Theology 1912/13
Senator Faculty of Catholic Theology 1913/14
Senator Faculty of Catholic Theology 1914/15
Dean Faculty of Catholic Theology 1915/16
Dean Faculty of Catholic Theology 1922/23
Dean Faculty of Catholic Theology 1930/31

Lehner attended the imperial-royal state secondary school in Vienna’s 8th district for two years, as well as the secondary school in Oberhollabrunn for six years and graduated in 1887. From 1887 until 1891 he studied at the theological faculty of the University of Vienna. After his ordination to the priesthood in July of 1891 he partly acted as prefect of students and as vice head of the archiepiscopal clerical seminary in Vienna (1893-1897) as well as working as an assistant priest in the pastoral care of the archdiocese (1891-1893 and 1897-1905). In 1905 he became an imperial-royal court chaplain and parish vicar at the Hofburg. Meanwhile he continued his studies and became Doctor of Divinity in 1902 and shortly thereafter went on a study trip to Rome and Germany for a semester each, where he visited six theological faculties. In 1906 he habilitated for special dogmatics at the theological faculty of the University of Vienna and received a teaching license for part of his area of studies. Six years later he was called to the chair for special dogmatics, which he held until 1938. As a full professor he furthermore held several positions at the University of Vienna: From 1913 until 1915 he was a senator in the university senate, and in the academic years of 1915/16, 1922/23 and 1930/31 he was dean of the Catholic-theological faculty. After the “Anschluss”, on April 23rd, 1938, he was asked by the rectorate to “immediately apply for [his] retirement”. He was banned from any teaching positions from that point onwards. According to Klieber/Schwarz, this forced retirement is a result of the then introduced new age limits for professors. In contrast to Leopold Krebs, Wenzel Pohl and Franz Zehentbauer he was not allowed to stay on as a substitute teacher. His leading position in the Leo-Society, where he worked as head of the philosophical-theological department, might have been a possible reason for this.

Due to his advanced age Lehner did not return to the University of Vienna after the war - in May 1945 he already was 77 years old.

Lehner also had been active in the archiepiscopal marriage court, as well as being a prosynodal examiner and superior at several women’s monasteries and bearer of the title of papal house prelate. Among his most famous works are “Ein Kommentar zum Antimodernisteneide” (offprint from the year book of the Association for Christian Education, 1911) and “Das Mysterium der heiligen Messe, dogmatisch behandelt” (in: Bericht der liturgischen Priestertagung in Wien 1924, 1925).

Archiv der Universität Wien, Rektoratsakten GZ 677-1937/38. |
Österreichisches Staatsarchiv/Allgemeines Verwaltungsarchiv, Personalakt Lehner.

Andreas Huber

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 09/02/21