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

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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.

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Laity - Catholic Action

(3,046 words)

Author(s): Ferdinand Klostermann
Part of Laity: 1. The Layman in the Church 2. Clergy and Laity 3. Catholic Action A. Organization 1. Origins. Catholic Action grew out of the Catholic movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, the main aims of which had been the defence of the Church against the free- thinking, revolutionary, Erastian and absolutist trends of the time, and the solution of the social problems which had become increasingly urgent since the Industrial Revolution. Catholic congresses were held in many European countries to further the…

Laity - Clergy and Laity

(975 words)

Author(s): Miguel Веnɀо | Ernst Niermann
Part of Laity: 1. The Layman in the Church 2. Clergy and Laity 3. Catholic Action 1. The relationship between clergy and laity in the life and work of the Church is determined by the unity of its mission — the salvation of men, which they lay hold on by faith in Christ and by his grace. Clergy and laity are therefore one as members by baptism of the one people of God, members of the same body which all are called on to build up. Nevertheless the individual members of the Church carry out its mission in different ways. 2. If the clergy carry out the Church’s mission (apostolate) by formally pro…

Laity - The Layman in the Church

(3,316 words)

Author(s): Ernst Niermann
Part of Laity: 1. The Layman in the Church 2. Clergy and Laity 3. Catholic Action Since it is impossible to discuss here all the possible aspects of the word “laity”, this article will confine itself in the first part to a survey of the mind of the Church on the subject, as it developed in the course of history. The second part will be an attempt to assess systematically the declarations of Vatican II on the laity. If the laity is to play its proper role in the Church, this will not be the result of pastoral en…


(4,731 words)

Author(s): Franɀ Mayr
A. Anthropological Pre-Understanding As a rule, language is distinguished from thought and both thought and language from the thing thought about or spoken of. This distinction is already found in Plato and Aristotle, who countered the Sophists’ abuse of language by offering a valid critique of language. Their aim was to restore responsible discussion within the city-state to its rightful place as relevant and objective. This use of language in the service of the community has as its comprehensive …

Last Things

(1,451 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
1. In religious language, especially in catechetical instruction, we find the term “the last things” ( novissima) used to designate the realities which form the limit — or lie beyond the limit — separating time, history of salvation or loss and free acts from their definitive and eternal fulfilment. Hence the last things are the various partial aspects of the one total definitive state of man, as individual before God, as member of humanity and as mankind entire. This total, definitive state of history can be i…

Law and Gospel

(1,598 words)

Author(s): Walter Kasper
A. State of the Question 1. The practical problem. The distinction between law and gospel helps us to define Christianity; it is regarded as the distinctive feature of the Christian faith as contrasted not only with Judaism but also with all pagan religions, with philosophy, ethics, and the like. Today, as in St. Paul’s time, that distinction is still an important matter for the Church’s mission and its relationship with the world; on it depends the Christian character of canon law, dogma, and moral tea…

Law - Biblical

(5,522 words)

Author(s): Klaus Berger
Part of Law: 1. Biblical 2. Theology and Moral Theology 3. Rule of Law 4. Philosophy of Law A. Old testament 1. The character of the Old Testament collections of laws. As used to designate certain sections of the ОТ the term “law” is derived from the rendering of תורה by νόμος in the LXX and NT. Originally torah means direction and instruction in general. Thus it is found in the Wisdom literature in the sense of instruction given by elders (Prov 1:8; 6:20) and sages. In the earlier strata of the Pentateuch the word occurs only in Exod 13:9; 16:4, passa…

Law - Philosophy of Law

(5,983 words)

Author(s): René Marcic
Part of Law: 1. Biblical 2. Theology and Moral Theology 3. Rule of Law 4. Philosophy of Law A. Concept and Technical Definitions 1. The “philosophy of law” is one of the main pillars of philosophy (Anaximander, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Democritus, and the tragedians), not a mere off-shoot, though the term has been in use only since the 18th century. But every new start in philosophy is preceded or followed by reflection on the nature of law. Each region of philosophy has a corresponding position in the philosophy of la…

Law - Rule of Law

(2,025 words)

Author(s): José-María Diez Alegría
Part of Law: 1. Biblical 2. Theology and Moral Theology 3. Rule of Law 4. Philosophy of Law 1. The fact of law. The term “law” refers to a historical and cultural reality that is found to exist in human society. Law in this sense is positive law. The Latin word ius is a homonym, designating a number of different things (rules of public authority that are in force at a given moment, the place where justice is administered, private juridical acts of binding force, ownership which is juridically protected — what we now call subjective rights). All these things are closely akin. In each case the word ius

Law - Theology and Moral Theology

(3,059 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
Part of Law: 1. Biblical 2. Theology and Moral Theology 3. Rule of Law 4. Philosophy of Law On the theology of law, see Old Testament Theology, Salvation - Theology A, Freedom, Law and Gospel, New Testament Theology - Pauline Theology, Sin - Sin and Guilt, Works. 1. A consideration of the notion of law in moral theology must start with the moral law and then proceed to the other types of law. The laws of nature and positive laws then appear as deficient modes of the moral law. By laws of nature we understand a rule for what must be, which th…

Leisure - Leisure

(1,948 words)

Author(s): Roman Bleistein
Part of Leisure: 1. Leisure 2. Tourism 3. Sport A. The Notion The notion of leisure, with its counterpart of work, will naturally depend on the notion one has of man in anthropology. If work and achievement are taken to be the purpose of life, leisure will be held in low esteem and man at leisure will be considered as something than he ought to be (Guardini). But if amusement is held to be the important thing in life, work is regarded as a “negotium", and the frustration felt in work will be compensated for…

Leisure - Sport

(1,040 words)

Author(s): B. Möller
Part of Leisure: 1. Leisure 2. Tourism 3. Sport Sport is a kind of play. Play is one of the components of human activity, like work and contemplation. A concrete activity is mostly composed of several elements, but receives its name from the predominant component which determines its sense. Sport is therefore play, though there are considerable elements of work in it, as we see best of all in professionalism. Play is not a matter of producing certain goods or of performing certain services (as in work), and it is not a matter of letting ourselves be captivated by …

Leisure - Tourism

(1,064 words)

Author(s): Roman Bleistein
Part of Leisure: 1. Leisure 2. Tourism 3. Sport 1. History. In every age of the world man has been a traveller, as nomad, warrior, discoverer, pilgrim, refugee, adventurer or seeker of culture. But these travels or wanderings were confined to certain types or classes. Mass tourism is a phenomenon of the present century. But it had its precursors. There was the “grand tour” of the young nobles of the 17th and 18th centuries and the visits to the watering-places, a type of travel which was linked to the tra…