Liturgy and Personality



“At a time when so many have lost a feel for the mass, this reissue of Liturgy and Personality will prove of inestimable value.”

 – Bishop Robert Barron

 "This is a life-changing book. It shows, in totally convincing ways, the incomparable power of the Catholic liturgy to form our personalities into those of saints—which is the whole meaning of life—and with a minimum of struggle and a maximum of joy on our part to boot. Reading this book inevitably elicits the 'value response' von Hildebrand speaks of more than almost any other, viz. gratitude—gratitude as a thinking as well as a feeling. (Thinking and thanking are as interpenetratingly close to each other as Adam and Eve.) As the liturgy thanks and praises God and von Hildebrand thanks and praises the liturgy, we thank and praise von Hildebrand for this tremendous gift."

– Peter Kreeft

Written in 1932 in the space of just twenty-three days and published in Germany the following year, Liturgy and Personality is one of the most influential and beloved books by seminal philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand.  

A classic work of Catholic thought and culture, Liturgy and Personality is the culmination of several years of intense study following Hildebrand’s conversion to the Catholic Church in 1914.

“In this book, Dietrich von Hildebrand shows how the Liturgy (when it is approached with the proper attitude and prayed reverently) brings about a profound development, transforming even a modest personality into a great one,” writes Alice von Hildebrand, widow of Dietrich, in the book’s afterword.

In a new foreword, Bishop Robert Barron, who has called Hildebrand “one of the truly great personalities of the twentieth century,” writes: “At a time when so many have lost a feel for the Mass, this reissue of Liturgy and Personality will prove of inestimable value.”

The first English edition of Liturgy and Personality was published by Longmans, Green, and Co. in 1943. A second edition in English was published by Helicon Press in 1960 and a third edition by Sophia Institute Press in 1986 and reprinted in 1993. This present edition represents the cumulative and definitive English edition and, together with the first publication in English of Hildebrand’s Aesthetics, marks the launch of the newly established Hildebrand Press. 

The Hildebrand Press exists to publish the works of Dietrich von Hildebrand and to give voice to writers who are inspired by the vision of the human person offered by Hildebrand, Karol Wojtyla, and others. The Press is an initiative of the Hildebrand Project, which advances, through publications, academic programs, and public events, the vital tradition of twentieth century thinkers who have enriched the Western and Christian vision of the human person. 

Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977) was a philosopher known for his seminal works in ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, and philosophy of religion. He was one of Europe’s most outspoken voices against Nazism and Communism. A convert to Catholicism, he had a profound impact on the thought and life of the Church in the twentieth century. 


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