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After training at the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Ott was ordained a priest in 1930. He received his doctorate in Munich (1931-1936) under Martin Grabmann and was mentored by him in studying the development of medieval theology. In 1936 he was "extraordinary professor", and in 1941 a full professor of dogmatics at the episcopal philosophical and theological college in Eichstaett. From 1960 to 1962 he was the rector of this Catholic university.
His research centered mostly in the area of dogmatics. With his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma he produced a standard reference work on dogmatics. The work, popular with both clergy and laity, has been translated into more than ten languages. The "Foreword to the Second English Edition" (p. vii) says, "This second English edition embodies the many changes made in the second and third German editions."
- Ott, Ludwig. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. 1955. Ed. James Bastible. Trans. Patrick Lynch. 2nd ed. St. Louis: B. Herder, 1957. Rpt. Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1974 (most recently, 2009). Rpt. Fort Collins, CO: Roman Catholic Books, 2012 (hardback). (German: Grundriß der Katholischen Dogmatik. Freiburg: Herder, 1952.) (1952 original: ISBN 978-1-929291-85-4.)