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Swiss theologian Herbert Haag dies at 86

Herbert Haag clashed with the Vatican on several occassions

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss theologian, Herbert Haag, has died at his home in Lucerne at the age of 86. A specialist in the Old Testament, Haag gained notoriety for his regular disputes with the Vatican.

Controversial at home and abroad, Haag, a Catholic, was often reprimanded by the Pope for his progressive views.

Last January, Swiss bishops collectively withdrew their support for Haag after he joined in a celebration of the Eucharist led by lay members of the church.

Haag spent much of his life in Lucerne as chaplain at a convent of Franciscan monks.

He spent his formative years studying philosophy and theology first in Rome and later in Fribourg.

He later studied five Asian languages in Paris and Jerusalem, before going on to teach the Old Testament at the theology faculty of Fribourg University.

In 1960, Haag took up a post as professor at the University of Tübingen in Germany, where he was to spend the next 20 years studying the Bible.

Several prominent bishops and theologians around the world have become the recipients of a prize awarded annually by the Haag Foundation, set up in his honour in 1985.

Two of the most notable award winners were the French bishop, Jacques Gaillot, who was relieved of his diocesan duties by the Pope, and the anti-Apartheid campaigner, C F Bayers-Naudé.

swissinfo with agencies


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