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Johann Hermann Janssens
Catholic theologian, b. at Maeseyck, Belgium, 7 Dec., 1783; d. at Engis, 23 May, 1853. After completing his theological studies in Rome he was appointed professor in the College of Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1809. While in this position, which he held until 1816, he composed his "Hermeneutica," which, however, was not published until 1818, after he had been appointed professor of Scripture and dogmatic theology in the ecclesiastical seminary of Liège. His teaching in this institution was taxed with heterodoxy, and in 1823 he was removed and made pastor of Engis. Shortly afterward, and against the will of his ecclesiastical superiors, he accepted the chair of anthropology and metaphysics in the philosophical college of Louvain. He retained this position until the Revolution of 1830, when the college was suppressed. He then retired to Engis, where he composed a history of the Netherlands (3 vols., Liège, 1840), written from the Protestant standpoint. Outside of Belgium he is chiefly known through his first publication, "Hermeneutica Sacra seu Introductio in omnes et singulos libros sacros Veteris et Novi Foederis." A French translation of this work, the original of which had reached its nineteenth edition in 1897, was published by Pacaud as early as 1828. A fifth edition of this translation, edited by Glaire and Sionnet, was published in Paris in 1855.
VIGOUROUX, Dictionnaire de la Bible, s.v.; Biographie Nationale, X (Brussels, 1888-1889), p. 145.
James F. Driscoll.