Benedict Stattler was born at Kötzting, Bavaria. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Landsberg in 1745 and, after the usual studies, taught philosophy and theology in Solothurn (Switzerland), Innsbruck, and Ingolstadt. In the last-named place he continued to occupy the chair of theology even after the suppression of the Society of Jesus.
In 1783, when all former Jesuits were excluded from the office of teaching, he took charge of the parish of Kemnath, but soon exchanged this post for that of ecclesiastical adviser and member of the electoral committee on censures in Munich. After four years his health compelled him to resign this office, and he lived thereafter in retirement till his death at Munich.
Shortly after Adam Weishaupt had founded the secret society of the Illuminati, Stattler attacked them in an anonymous work (Das Geheimniß der Bosheit des Stifters des Illuminatismus in Baiern). Kant's Critique of Pure Reason appeared in its first edition in 1781; in 1788 Stattler launched his Anti-Kant, and parried the attack which his book provoked in the literary world of Germany.
When the doctrines of the French revolutionists began to be echoed in his fatherland, he lost no time in pointing out to his compatriots the false ring which he detected in their boastful promises of liberty. The bulk of his writings, however, is devoted to Catholic philosophy and theology. It was his avowed purpose to adapt the traditional teachings of the Schoolmen to the living needs of his time, "to plow anew the entire field of scholastic philosophy and theology and to fructify it with fresh seeds", as Bishop Sailer of Ratisbon, Stattler's great pupil, expressed it.
With this end in view, he wrote "Philosophia methodo scientiæ propria explanata" (Augsburg, 1769–72) and "Demonstratio Evangelica" (Augsburg, 1770). Yet he was attached to the rationalistic philosophy of Christian Wolff, religious toleration, and Febronianism. His "Demonstratio Catholica" (Pappenheim, 1775) fell under the censure of the Roman authorities. And shortly before his death, his "Loci Theologici" (Weissenburg, 1775), "Theologia Christiana Theoretica" (Ingolstadt and Munich, 1776–79), and two other works were placed on the Index.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Benedict Stattler". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2017-12-19.