Canisius's Catechism for Experienced Students
Petrus Canisius (1521-1597).
Catholischer Catechismus mit feinen Kuppfern.
Bamberg: Johann Christian Marschand, 1705.
Responding to a request from Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I (b. 1503, r. 1531-1564) for a new Catholic catechism, the Dutch-born Jesuit Canisius produced three versions for different readers. These catechisms included the complete text for adults (Summa doctrinae christianae, 1555), an abridged version for experienced students (Catechismus minimus, 1556), and a simplified edition for beginning readers (Parvus catechismus catholicorum, 1558). The three texts were remarkably popular and more than 200 editions in at least a dozen languages were published before Canisius’s death in 1597.
This is the first edition of this German translation of Canisius’s Catechismus minimus for advanced students. The work includes the first appearance of the illustrations found in this volume: a double-page engraved frontispiece, fifty-seven full-page text engravings, one full-page engraved plate, and twelve engraved head- and tailpieces. Illustrating a section on the Ten Commandments is this full-page text engraving of Moses holding the inscribed commandment tablets.