Theologian, born at Fliess in the valley of the Upper Inn in the Tyrol, Austria, 15 August, 1785; died at Brixen, 10 January, 1844. He studied at Innsbruck, and obtained the Degree of Doctor of Theology, and in 1821 became professor of moral theology at the lyceum at Innsbruck. In 1823 he was made professor of moral theology and pedagogy at the seminary of Brixen, where he was later a cathedral canon. His chief work is "Theologia moralis in compendium redacta" (4 vols., Innsbruck, 1827-30; 6th ed., 1846; 7th ed., 1855); the merits of this work consist in its strictly orthodox character, clear and precise presentation, and practical usefulness. From 1830 it was officially made a textbook for all seminaries of Austria. Much used as a textbook also was a compendium of this work: "Epitome theologiæ moralis publicis prælectionibus accommodata" [2 vols., Innsbruck, 1832; 2nd ed., 1842; 3rd ed. revised by J. V. Hofmann (volume I) and Simon Aichner (volume II), 1863-65]. At a later date Stapf made a free German revision, which showed the influence of Hirscher "Die christliche Moral. Als Antwort auf die Frage: Was wir thun müssen, um in das Reich Gottes einzugehen" [4 vols., Innsbruck, 1841-42; 2nd ed. edited after Stapf's death by J. V. Hofmann under the title: "Die christliche Sittenlehre" (3 vols., 1848-49)]. Besides these Stapf wrote: "Erziehungslehre im Geiste der katholischen Kirche" (Innsbruck, 1832; 4th ed., 1846; 5th ed. edited by J. V. Hofmann, 1854); "Expositio casuum reservatorum in diocesi Brixinensi" (Brixen, 1836); "Der hl. Vincentius von Paul, dargestellt in seinem Leben und Wirken" (anonymous, 2 vols., Vienna, 1837); "Biblische Geschichte des Alten und Neuen Bundes zum Gebrauche der Hauptschulen in den k. k. österreichischen Staaten" (1840).
WURZBACH, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, XXXVII (Vienna, 1878), 144 sq.; HURTER, Nomenclator, III (2nd ed.), 1151.
APA citation. (1912). Joseph Ambrose Stapf. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14248c.htm
MLA citation. "Joseph Ambrose Stapf." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14248c.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.