Peter Landau (1935-2019)

May 24, 2019

The Institute has been deeply saddened by news of the death of Peter Landau, a legal historian of near-encyclopaedic knowledge, a passionate researcher, a politically-minded jurist and an impressive scholarly personality. Nobody after Stefan Kuttner, to whose scholarly legacy Peter Landau felt committed, shaped the history of canon law as lastingly as he did: through his studies of pre-Gratian and classical canon law, his analysis of the production of norms by scholars and the Curia, and not least his untiring work as an editor of sources, even in recent years.  Anyone who knew him, however, is aware that his monumental work on the history of canon law represented only one part of his achievements and interests: the history of Protestant church law, of church-state law (Staatskirchenrecht), of the philosophy of law, and of the role of lawyers in National Socialism were no less important to him. Numerous honours, academy memberships and honorary doctorates bear witness to the international recognition the Emeritus Professor of canon law, German legal history, history of private law, civil law, and the philosophy of law and state at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich received. Our institute benefited from his insights between 1994 and 2001, when he served as a member of our advisory board member.

In his obituary for Stephan Kuttner, Peter Landau described canon law as ‘cultural world heritage'. One of the greatest scholars and custodians of this great cultural achievement has now fallen silent.


Thomas Duve

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