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Although, from an ecclesiastical standpoint, much of his literary work is greatly to be deplored and rejected and though his political activity — to which we shall refer later — did not always influence favourably his intellectual labours, his achievements of positive and permanent value form a sufficiently imposing array to entitle Kraus to a place among the ablest scholars of the nineteenth century.
After a few translations from the French (van Hemen, de Ravignan, and Lacordaire ) he began his independent literary career with small works on the history of early Christian literature in the first centuries and the Middle Ages , among them: "Ægidius von Rom" (in "Oesterreichische Vierteljahreschrift für kath. Of the edition of the "Opera omnia" of Thomas à Kempis, undertaken by Kraus, only the first volume appeared ("Opuscula", Trier, 1868).
Its chief merit lies in the description of the connection of art with the general and religious culture of the different periods.
Other important publications belong to the special history of art: "Die Wandgemälde der St.
The first edition of the church history was followed by the "Synchronistische Tabellen zur Kirchengeschichte" (Trier, 1876) and "Charakterbilder aus der christlichen Kirchengeschichte" (5 parts, Trier, 1877), which were designated the fourth and fifth divisions of the ecclesiastical history, but had really the character of separate works. Even after he became a priest, he continued his studies in theology and philology at the universities of Tübingen, Freiburg — where he had received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1862, and received that of Doctor of Divinity in 1865 — and Bonn. He was ordained a priest by the suffragan bishop Eberhard of Trier, 23 March, 1864.His "Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte fur Studierende" (lst ed. One misses the calm objectivity of the historian, the author showing in many instances the inordinate influence which his liberalizing views exerted over his judgment.in 3 parts, Trier, 1872-5; 4th ed., 1896, French translation: "Histoire de l'Eglise par F. This bias naturally aroused enmity, and as it was still more emphatic in the second edition of 1882, Kraus was compelled by the pope to withdraw this edition and revise it.