Sources of Catholic Dogma—Helpful Hints

If you’re studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church with one of Logos’ Catholic libraries, one of the resources you should be familiar with is The Sources of Catholic Dogma.

The Sources of Catholic Dogma traces the development of Catholic teaching—a development largely guided by papal and church council decrees. Translated from the 30th edition of Henry Denzinger’s famous Enchiridion Symbolorum, it consists of chronologically organized excerpts spanning from St. Clement of Rome (c. AD 90) to Pius XII (1939–1958).

The Enchiridion was later revised and given a new numbering system by Adolf Schönmetzer in the mid-1960s. We’ve updated the Logos edition of Sources to support both numbering systems. Adding the Denzinger-Schönmetzer (or “DS”) numbers allows us to tie together all 250-plus references to Denzinger-Schönmetzer found in the Catechism—virtually all its references to pre–Vatican II church documents.

In the Logos edition of Sources of Catholic Dogma, DS numbers follow the main numbering in brackets. You can choose which numbering system to display and navigate by clicking the active index box at the top of the resource panel and choosing between the “DS” or “SCD.”

The chronological arrangement of the texts makes it pretty easy to look up a document from a particular pope or council, but for topical study, you can use Search or browse one of the indexes at the back of the book. Sources of Catholic Dogma has both an alphabetical index of persons and terms and a systematic index that organizes related topics.

Most of the time, though, I use Sources in conjunction with the texts that reference Denzinger heavily, especially the Catechism, papal encyclicals, the documents of Vatican II, and Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. For topical study in particular, you can find important texts in Sources by looking at what gets cited by the Catechism and Ott.

Of course, Ott and Vatican II use the older numbering system, handled by the “SCD” data type in Logos, and the Catechism and recent papal encyclicals use the newer numbering system, handled by the “DS” data type, so if you want to work the other direction and figure out where a particular text in Sources is cited in your library, you’ll need to search for both numbering systems.

If you’re browsing Sources with the Cited By tool open, switching the active index as described above will also change whether it’s searching for the SCD number or DS number. You can construct a search for either reference using the “OR” operator. For example, “<SCD 1789> OR <DS 3008>.”

More information about search operators and reference searches can be found on the Logos Wiki, and the chapter on searching that we’re preparing for the Catholic Practicum training videos goes into these topics in some depth.

Written by
Louis St. Hilaire
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Written by Louis St. Hilaire