Pohle’s volume on grace explores the centrality of grace in Christian belief and practice. He writes at length on the relationship between unbelief and grace, as well as God’s will to save. A significant portion of this volume is devoted to free will, including the understanding of free will in the writings of Luther and Calvin, along with the Council of Trent. Pohle also deals with justification and sanctification—arguably the central and most controversial doctrines of the Reformation.
Joseph Pohle (1852–1922) studied in Trier, Rome, and was ordained as a priest in 1878. He served as a professor in Baar, Switzerland from 1881 to 1883, as professor at St. Joseph’s College in Leeds, England from 1883 to 1886, and as professor of philosophy in Fulda from 1886 to 1889. In 1889, he moved to America to teach at the newly-founded Catholic University. Pohle returned to Europe in 1894, teaching at Münster and then Breslau, where he served as professor of dogma, and wrote his Dogmatic Theology. He was also a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia.