Sacramentum Mundi Online

Purchase Access
Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Karl Rahner with Cornelius Ernst and Kevin Smyth.
Advisor for the online edition: Karen Kilby, Durham University

Sacramentum Mundi Online is the online edition of the famous six volume English reference work in Catholic Theology, edited (in 1968-1970) by Karl Rahner, one of the main Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Sacramentum Mundi: An Encyclopedia of Theology was originally published by Herder Verlag, and is now available online at Brill.

For more information: Brill.com

Early Church

(3,324 words)

Author(s): Peter Stockmeier
The early period is of particular importance in Church history, as is seen not only from the long debate on the subject but above all from the intrinsic structures of the early Church, which grew out of its unique situation and problems. It is also a historical unity, clearly distinct from the following Constantinian period. A. The Demarcation The early Church covers the period from about a. D. 30 till its recognition as a religion of the empire under Constantine the Great (306–37). Though the Church only became “established” in course of time, basical…

Eastern Churches

(8,970 words)

Author(s): Bernhard Schultze
A. Notion In the term Eastern Churches, the geographical reference derives from the world-view of antiquity, and means the Eastern part of the Roman empire. Like the sun, the gospel comes from the East, from Palestine. “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8.) The first Churches were founded in Jerusalem and from there Churches were founded in Samaria, Antioch, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece, Crete, Syria, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, …

Ecclesiastical Authority

(5,337 words)

Author(s): Klaus Mörsdorf
Ecclesiastical authority ( potestas sacra) is the authority which the Church has been given by Jesus Christ to be exercised in his name in carrying out the mission entrusted to it. 1. Basis in the nature of the Church. In the language of Vatican II potestas sacra means the power which Jesus Christ has given the Church to exercise in his name, in the discharge of ministries he has established in his Church in such a way that they have to be carried out by special authorities (Constitution on the Church, art. 18). The ministry here referred t…

Ecclesiastical Finances

(2,275 words)

Author(s): Josef Lederer
Church finances include all arrangements and activities of the Church for providing the financial means, necessary for carrying out its mission. 1. General. a) Basis in divine law. The Church, following the will of its divine founder, works in the world as a visible community. That is not possible without financial means. Therefore she claims the God-given right to acquire, own and administer earthly goods, in complete freedom and independently of any other power ( CIC, can. 1495, § 1). (i) The beginnings of Church finances are to be seen already in the NT. Jesus and h…

Ecclesiastical Law - Church Laws

(1,712 words)

Author(s): Ludwig Bender
Part of Ecclesiastical Law: 1. Concept and System 2. History of Ecclesiastical Law 3. Code of Canon Law 4. Church Laws A Church law is a general norm imposed on the members of the Church. Law is the means whereby the law-giver directs the actions of subjects so that they attain the good of society and their own proper good. The action of all laws is in the line of efficient causality, though not all work in the same way. Some laws make an action obligatory or illicit; others make it invalid; others again do both. Th…

Ecclesiastical Law - Code of Canon Law

(3,373 words)

Author(s): Klaus Mörsdorf
Part of Ecclesiastical Law: 1. Concept and System 2. History of Ecclesiastical Law 3. Code of Canon Law 4. Church Laws A. History At the time of Vatican I there was a general recognition of the need for a summary and revision of canon law. Legislation was dispersed in many different collections and this gave rise to uncertainty about the status of current law. The most important source was still considered to be the Corpus Iuris Canonici; but this included norms long superseded, changed, outdated, or doubtful. The reform began by Trent was decisively influenced by papal…

Ecclesiastical Law - Concept and System

(8,720 words)

Author(s): Georg May
Part of Ecclesiastical Law: 1. Concept and System 2. History of Ecclesiastical Law 3. Code of Canon Law 4. Church Laws A. Definition and Division 1. Definition. Ecclesiastical law, or canon law, is the entirety of the norms of the law laid down by God and by the Church, which regulate the constitution and life of the Church of Jesus Christ united under the Pope as its one visible head. The laws of the State which regulate Church affairs, which apply where the Church is “established” in the State, are civil and not eccles…

Ecclesiastical Law - History of Ecclesiastical Law

(5,008 words)

Author(s): Alfons M. Stickler
Part of Ecclesiastical Law: 1. Concept and System 2. History of Ecclesiastical Law 3. Code of Canon Law 4. Church Laws The more one is concerned today to gain a personal understanding of the various aspects of the faith and of Christian life within the divinely-willed institutional framework of the Church, the less one may consider the history of canon law as a subject remote from reality and of interest only to a few specialists. A knowledge of the history of law is necessary for a fuller understanding of present-d…

Ecclesiastical Office - In Canon Law

(2,622 words)

Author(s): Klaus Mörsdorf
Part of Ecclesiastical Office: 1. In Canon Law 2. Office and Charism A. Concept Ecclesiastical office ( officium ecclesiasticum) is a permanent institution created by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance for the fulfilment of certain ecclesiastical duties and endowed with corresponding pastoral powers, which can be conferred upon a physical person or a college, for the purpose of exercising, as an organ of the Church, the service prescribed by that office. Ecclesiastical office is the hierarchy of offices rather th…

Ecclesiastical Office - Office and Charism

(1,724 words)

Author(s): Otto Semmelroth
Part of Ecclesiastical Office: 1. In Canon Law 2. Office and Charism It is not seldom that…

Ecclesiastical Penalties

(2,970 words)

Author(s): Louis de Naurois
Everybody is aware, however vaguely, that the Church sometimes inflicts penalties on its members; they may, for example, be excommunicated or deprived of Christian burial or, if clerics, they may be suspended from the exercise of their functions. 1. Principles. It may be objected that such repressive measures contradict the principle of the “holy liberty of the children of God”. Nobody, however, will dispute the need for discipline within the Church. The Church’s mission is to guide the faithful along the way that leads to salvation.…

Ecclesiastical Regions

(4,101 words)

Author(s): Jacques Delcourt
1. The ecclesiastical territories under the Congregations. In the Atlas Missionum published in 1959 by the Vatican City Press, the map of the world, pp. 3–4, shows the various administrative regions as follows, distributed among the Congregation for Propaganda, the Consistorial Congregation, the Congregation for the Oriental Church and the Congregation fo…

Economic Ethics - Part I

(1,634 words)

Author(s): Oswald von Nell-Breuning
Part of Economic Ethics: Part I Part II Business ethics pertains to a sphere of economics which only exists in a “social” economy, and one that is organized on a commercial basis. In a “social” economy a social process intervenes between the natural processes of the production and…

Economic Ethics - Part II

(1,857 words)

Author(s): Max Pietsch
Part of Economic Ethics: Part I Part II The ethics of economics is part of social ethics, dealing with the law and order of economics according to moral principles. Ethics and economics are in themselves independent realms with laws of their own in each case. But in any given culture the two orders are closely inter-connected. Economic thinking, the style of an economy, will be the reflection of a given culture and style of life. Hence natural law among Christians is applied in economics mostly in the f…

Ecumenism - Catholic Ecumenism

(1,649 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
Part of Ecumenism: 1. Ecumenical Movement 2. Movements for Church Union 3. Catholic Ecumenism 4. Ecumenical Theology 5. Christian-Jewish Dialogue 6. Christian Denominations 1. What has to be said under this heading is in substance a repetition of what was said in the Vatican II Decrees on Ecumenism and on the Eastern Catholic Churches. For details, reference may be made to these decrees generally, and in particular to chapter ii of the Decree on Ecumenism. The very fact that the possibility of dialogue and co-operatio…

Ecumenism - Christian Denominations

(2,948 words)

Author(s): Eduard Stakemeier | Ansgar Ablbrecht
Part of Ecumenism: 1. Ecumenical Movement 2. Movements for Church Union 3. Catholic Ecumenism 4. Ecumenical Theology 5. Christian-Jewish Dialogue 6. Christian Denominations: A. Study of Christian Denominations 1. It is the primary task of the study of denominations today to describe the contemporary scene, but it must also call on history insofar as it is the key to the understanding of the present. The beginnings of such systematic study are found very early in the Church, e.g., in the Panarion of Epiphanius and in the De Fide et Symbolo of Augustine. The presentday science, howeve…

Ecumenism - Christian-Jewish Dialogue

(981 words)

Author(s): Willehad P. Eckert
Part of Ecumenism: 1. Ecumenical Movement 2. Movements for Church Union 3. Catholic Ecumenism 4. Ecumenical Theology 5. Christian-Jewish Dialogue 6. Christian Denominations: Jews and Christians possess in common the holy Scriptures of the ОТ, but are divided in their understanding of it. Jews recognize both oral tradition and Scripture as divine revelation. They cannot therefore allow a difference between moral law and ceremonial law. …

Ecumenism - Ecumenical Movement

(2,750 words)

Author(s): August B. Hasler
Part of Ecumenism: 1. Ecumenical Movement 2. Movements for Church Union 3. Catholic Ecumenism 4. Ecumenical Theology 5. Christian-Jewish Dialogue 6. Christian Denominations The term “ecumenical” comes from the Greek οικουμένη which means the inhabited earth (cf. Acts 17:7; Mt 24:14; Heb 2:5). In traditional Catholic usage it refers to a general Council of the whole Church. But its chief use today is to designate efforts on behalf of the unity of Christians. The “movement” in question means here the whole development of inter-ecclesiastical relationships and attitudes of which the goal is the removal of divisions among Christians. Though Catholic faith teaches that …

Ecumenism - Ecumenical Theology

(4,106 words)

Author(s): Gotthold Hasenhüttl | Johannes Brosseder
Part of Ecumenism: 1. Ecumenical Movement 2. Movements for Church Union 3. Catholic Ecumenism 4. Ecumenical Theology 5. Christian-Jewish Dialogue 6. Christian Denominations: A. Controversial Theology 1. Concept. Controversial theology does not mean the debating of differences between schools of theology, but the theoretical description of the differences in the expression of the faith which have led to schisms. The notion was developed at the time of the Reformation. The Church had hitherto been confronted mostly with ind…
▲   Back to top   ▲