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Lagrange, Marie-Joseph (1855–1938)

  1. Jeffrey L. Morrow

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0773

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Morrow, J. L. 2011. Lagrange, Marie-Joseph (1855–1938). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Marie-Joseph Lagrange was born Albert Lagrange in Bourg-en-Bresse, France on March 7, 1855. He died on March 10, 1938. He became a Dominican and was ordained a Catholic priest. He studied numerous ancient languages, philosophy, theology, and the Bible. In 1880, because of anticlerical matters in France, Lagrange and many of his fellow Dominicans were exiled to Spain. In 1890 Lagrange founded the École biblique, the famous Dominican biblical school in Jerusalem. As head of the École biblique, Lagrange also founded and edited the international biblical journal, Revue biblique. He was later caught up in the Catholic controversies during the Modernist crisis when, in 1907, Pope St. Pius X issued his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis which condemned what the Pope labeled Modernism. This was the official beginning of the Modernist crisis. It officially ended after Vatican II, when, in 1965, the Oath against Modernism (begun in 1910) was no longer imposed upon Catholics. The Modernist controversy focused primarily upon the historical critical study of the Bible, and was especially directed against the works of Alfred Loisy. Lagrange was implicated in this controversy, not only because he was a personal acquaintance of Loisy (although he criticized in print Loisy's works), but also because of Lagrange's own use of the historical critical method to study the Bible. Lagrange was even removed from his capacity as editor of the Revue biblique, and a number of his works, including a commentary on the Book of Genesis, have to this day not been published. Lagrange was a prolific author. He published over 1,700 books and articles. An early 1943 bibliography of Lagrange's, which was not exhaustive, included 1,786 of his publications. Most of his works dealt with the Bible, and many explicitly used the historical critical method.


  • Lagrange, Marie-Joseph (1855–1938);
  • dominican, ordained a Catholic priest;
  • revue biblique;
  • modernist controversy