Sacramentum Mundi Online

Get 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

Charisms

(1,245 words)

Author(s): Estevao Bettencourt
1. Biblical. The word χάρισμα was introduced into theological terminology by Paul. The synoptics, John and Acts are familiar with the phenomenon but have not the term, which is found in Rom, 1 and 2 Cor, 1 and 2 Tim and 1 Pet. Paul created a definite terminology to speak of the charisms, though for the spiritual gifts of grace described as χαρίσματα he also uses πνευματιϰά, διαϰονιαι and ὲνεργήματα (1 Cor 12). Paul’s approach is characterized by the effort, particularly visible in 1 Cor 12–14, to…

Charity - Charitable Organizations

(3,489 words)

Author(s): Erich Reisch
Part of Charity: 1. Virtue of Charity 2. Love of Neighbour 3. Charitable Organizations The word “charity”, in this article, has the common meaning of Christian brotherly love towards the needy and the suffering. It is not only a sacred duty and the characteristic of every true Christian, but also the characteristic and expression of the life of the Church and the essential reality of every community inspired by the spirit of Christ. 1. The Church as ecclesia caritatis. The Second Vatican Council has brought charity with great emphasis into the centre of theological specul…

Charity - Love of Neighbour

(1,825 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
Part of Charity: 1. Virtue of Charity 2. Love of Neighbour 3. Charitable Organizations 1. Concept and problems. The love which is open to and interested in those close to us is universally recognized as a noble form of moral action. But the question arises as to who are our “neighbours” and how far should charity towards them go. The spontaneous answer of natural ethics is to distinguish between love of those nearest and dearest to us and readiness to help those outside this circle. Men feel bound to love others…

Charity - Virtue of Charity

(6,300 words)

Author(s): René Carpentier
Part of Charity: 1. Virtue of Charity 2. Love of Neighbour 3. Charitable Organizations The Christian value par excellence, charity in the sense of supernatural love should be the soul of all apostolic work. This will be the main theme of the present article. At the same time natural love, in its various aspects, plays an essential role. Natural love would not be a sound enough methodical basis: wounded by sin, that is, by egotism, which is the corruption of love, it is mingled with instinctive libido. This articl…

Christianity - Absoluteness of Christianity

(1,860 words)

Author(s): Walter Kasper
Part of Christianity: 1. The Essence of Christianity 2. Absoluteness of Christianity A. Notion and Problem The notion of the absoluteness of Christianity derives from the philosophy of German Idealism, not from theology itself. From the outset, therefore, theology must beware lest an inappropriate attitude should be thrust upon it from without. Christianity is based on a historical revelation and therefore implies history and historicity, which cannot simply be disposed of by speculating about the Absolute. On …

Christianity - The Essence of Christianity

(8,862 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
Part of Christianity: 1. The Essence of Christianity 2. Absoluteness of Christianity A. Preliminary Observations on Method 1. The question what Christianity “really” is in “essence”, is not one which arises only when doubt is thrown on the unique character of Christianity, its absolute claim. Since the beginning of modern times the question has of course been raised in that way in ever more insistent and explicit terms. As a consequence, the question has been misconstrued. Contrary to the nature of a unique conc…

Church and State

(6,852 words)

Author(s): Paul Mikat
Because Church and State essentially differ, the relationship between them is always a dialectical one. Though with different ends in view, each claims the allegiance of the same person. The State’s business is to defend and promote the natural goods of its citizens on earth, whereas the Church is called upon to continue the redemptive work of its founder on earth and lead men by word and sacrament to their eternal salvation. Church and State being composed of the same members, the relations bet…

Church and World

(8,617 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
1. Introduction. The Church’s reflection and teaching on the mutual relation of world and Church have to some extent entered on a new stage with Vatican II. The Church has always of course been concerned with the theme. Scripture itself raises the question of the significance of secular authority and of the obligation and limit of Christians’ obedience to it. The patristic period, the Middle Ages and modern times, all dealt in theory and in actual practice which often involved bitter conflicts, w…

Church - Constitution of the Church

(2,092 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
Part of Church: 1. History of Ecclesiology 2. Ecclesiology 3. Constitution of the Church 4. Universality of the Church 5. Membership of the Church 1. If one wishes to speak in terms of sacred law of a “constitution” of the Catholic Church on the grounds that it is a societas perfecta, then the actual details of such a constitution have already been dealt with in other articles. The Church is, among other things, a social reality, a juridically constituted society, the highest governing body of which is the universal episcopate which has as its …

Church - Ecclesiology

(8,255 words)

Author(s): Marie-Joseph le Guillou
Part of Church: 1. History of Ecclesiology 2. Ecclesiology 3. Constitution of the Church 4. Universality of the Church 5. Membership of the Church A. The Teaching of the Church If in the future Vatican II will stand as a synthesis of the teaching of the magisterium on the Church, three important documents of relatively recent date should not be forgotten: Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I; Satis Cognitum (Leo XIII); Mystici Corporis (Pius XII). Formerly the declarations of the magisterium dealt only with particular points (cf. Cavallera, pp. 149–284). An explanation of …

Church History

(12,331 words)

Author(s): August Franken
A. Subject-Matter The subject-matter of Church history is the Church’s past. As a historical religion of revelation, Christianity originates in the historical person and saving work of Jesus Christ, the God-man. It not only has this local and temporal origin; its historical existence as this original Christianity is also continued in the Church. Its historicity is essential to its existence; it not merely has a history, it also is historical in its entire self-realization, for it is in and with history that it realizes itself. From this it follows that in order …

Church - History of Ecclesiology

(2,936 words)

Author(s): Marie-Joseph le Guillou
Part of Church: 1. History of Ecclesiology 2. Ecclesiology 3. Constitution of the Church 4. Universality of the Church 5. Membership of the Church The treatise on the Church appeared late in the history of Christian thought. It began towards the end of the Middle Ages and reached its culmination at Vatican II. In this development of ecclesiological thought we can distinguish three phases which are essentially interrelated: (i) the Fathers and the theologians of the Middle Ages, (ii) the formation of the treatise on the Church, (ili) contemporary theological progress. A. From the Fathe…

Church - Membership of the Church

(4,164 words)

Author(s): Emilio Sauras
Part of Church: 1. History of Ecclesiology 2. Ecclesiology 3. Constitution of the Church 4. Universality of the Church 5. Membership of the Church The word “Church” does not always bear the same meaning in Scripture. It sometimes means the people of Israel, wandering in the wilderness (Acts 7:38). On other occasions it means a Christian society, either a household (Rom 16:4–5) or throughout a city (Acts 8:1) or a district (Acts 9:31; 1 Cor 16:9). Sometimes it means the society which comprises all the sons of God, redee…

Church Orders

(1,348 words)

Author(s): Norbert Brox
Definition. By Church Orders or Constitution we understand here only those of ancient Christian literature, most of which have only been re-discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are the most ancient surviving records of law, constitution, discipline, liturgy and custom in the Church. The initial stages of such directives, which soon became necessary for the well-being of the community, are to be found in the NT. The ancient collections now known are so disparate in form and content tha…

Church - Universality of the Church

(1,793 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
Part of Church: 1. History of Ecclesiology 2. Ecclesiology 3. Constitution of the Church 4. Universality of the Church 5. Membership of the Church 1. This article should be regarded as supplementary to the articles Church II (Ecclesiology) and Church and World. To some extent it stands midway between them. Its theme is a topical one, for it is only at the present time that the Church has manifestly and in historical fact become approximately a world-wide Church, as was clearly shown by Vatican II. Quite considerable' consequences follow from this fact for the Church’s action. 2. In a first…

Clergy

(1,424 words)

Author(s): Klaus Mörsdorf
In contrast to the laity, the clergy signify those members of the new people of God who through holy orders have a special ministry in the Church and who form a separate ecclesiastical state ( status clericalis). Κλήρος originally meant a lot, the share resulting from a lottery. In 1 Pet 5 :.3 ϰλήρος means the shares which the individual presbyters receive from the whole community. In Acts 1:17 ϰλήρος is the share in spiritual service. Clergy was used in this narrower sense by Origen to denote the ministers of the Church, in contrast to the laity. The Latin word clerus (the oldest witness is T…