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

Social Movements - Christian Social Doctrine

(6,423 words)

Author(s): Oswald von Nell-Breuning
Part of Social Movements: 1. Social Problems 2. Socialism 3. Christian Social Movement 4. Christian Social Doctrine 5. Social Work A. General Christian social doctrine is usually taken simply as the equivalent of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. Whether there exists as well a Protestant social doctrine comparable in extent and importance or only a Protestant teaching on social ethics, is disputed even among Protestants themselves. Scarcely even the rudiments of a social doctrine can be found in the Eastern…

Social Movements - Christian Social Movement

(3,302 words)

Author(s): Oswald von Nell-Breuning
Part of Social Movements: 1. Social Problems 2. Socialism 3. Christian Social Movement 4. Christian Social Doctrine 5. Social Work The Christian social movement is a recent development, social problems in the modern sense having come to light very late in the course of human history. Aristotle called man a ζῶον πολιτιϰόν, which is generally translated ens sociale. But in fact he and his successors for the next two thousand years recognized only the societas politica. For them society and the State were identical. O…

Social Movements - Socialism

(2,172 words)

Author(s): Oswald von Nell-Breuning
Part of Social Movements: 1. Social Problems 2. Socialism 3. Christian Social Movement 4. Christian Social Doctrine 5. Social Work Socialism is the collective name for a multitude of systems and movements critical of existing society. All of them, it is fair to say, attach as much importance to man’s social nature as to his individuality, oppose his self-centredness, emphasize his duties, as a member of the community, towards his fellows and particularly towards the various social bodies to which he belongs. In thi…

Social Movements - Social Problems

(2,548 words)

Author(s): Oswald von Nell-Breuning
Part of Social Movements: 1. Social Problems 2. Socialism 3. Christian Social Movement 4. Christian Social Doctrine 5. Social Work While the substance of social doctrine — the doctrine of man as a social being (philosophical [metaphysical] and theological anthropology) — holds good everywhere and in every age, it has constantly to be applied in new and different ways because of constant changes in the milieu, the steady increase of population, the growing interdependence of the members of society, and the transform…

Social Movements - Social Work

(2,735 words)

Author(s): Marianne Pünder
Part of Social Movements: 1. Social Problems 2. Socialism 3. Christian Social Movement 4. Christian Social Doctrine 5. Social Work 1. Notion. Social work originally meant all work for the relief of distress and the betterment of certain underprivileged classes. Reflection and experience logically led people to consider the causes of distress, the “social question”. Answering it is the business of the social sciences, which provide the principles underlying social policy and social reform. The highly developed modern…

Social Philosophy

(1,330 words)

Author(s): Joachim Giers
1. What is social philosophy? Having experienced social life, man can ask what is the nature and essence of it (or of society, as the quintessence of social intercourse). To go “behind” and “beyond” experience in this way will also evoke the question as to the meaning of social life for the person. If there is such a meaning, the question also arises as to the values embodied in social life and in its aptness to promote values. The philosophical systems soon took in the social element. The thought of antiquity was taken up by scholasticism and handed on to the present day…

Social Sciences

(1,547 words)

Author(s): Joachim Giers
1. The term and scope. The “social sciences”, a term in use in England and France from the early 19th century, obviously embrace a number of sciences which deal with social matters. The difficulty in defining the concept and scope of the social sciences is in the word “social”. Man with each of his fellows, man with society, man with his material background (of economics) and the being of man himself is something to be conceived “socially”. Hence if “social” and the relevant sciences are applied to the life of men in common, the scope is immen…

Society - Common Good

(1,709 words)

Author(s): José Maria Diez-Alegria
Part of Society: 1. The Social Group 2. Fellowship 3. Common Good 4. Public Opinion 1. The Problem Today. The problem of the common good has been the subject of lively debate in recent years among students of Christian social doctrine. The debate bore on the relations between person and society (or more generally, between the individual and the fellowship of which he is a member), and on the relation between the good of the individual and the general good. One group defended on principle the priority of the common good ( communitarians), while others ( personalists) maintained equally forc…

Society - Fellowship

(1,141 words)

Author(s): Adolf Darlap
Part of Society: 1. The Social Group 2. Fellowship 3. Common Good 4. Public Opinion 1. Notion. It is part of the primary experience of man to know himself comprised within a fellowship, by virtue of which and in view of which he exists (even if only by denying it). The essence of his finite “nature” is not only to be with and for himself (at least in self-consciousness) but also to be with others. Since therefore he is not capable of self-realization except in fellowship, fellowship is a basic concept in theolo…

Society - Public Opinion

(2,100 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
Part of Society: 1. The Social Group 2. Fellowship 3. Common Good 4. Public Opinion 1. The concept, a) The concept of public opinion derives from the socio-political sphere and denotes the process as well as the result of the formation of opinions and attitudes on the part of the general public. It is expressed formally in certain constitutive acts (e.g., by means of elections), informally in special groupings (e.g., pressure groups) and, in the mass media, partly formally and partly informally. The objective ch…

Society - The Social Group

(2,484 words)

Author(s): Konrad Hecker
Part of Society: 1. The Social Group 2. Fellowship 3. Common Good 4. Public Opinion 1. The problem of definition. Society — to give a preliminary verbal definition — is the totality of interactions between individuals, no matter how combined, insofar as this totality constitutes a system with its own internal processes, the development therefore (whether naturally or artificially) of a unified relationship between a number of people. As such a unified relationship between human beings, between beings, that is, who…

Sociology

(3,972 words)

Author(s): Wigand Siebel | Norbert Martin
1. Historical review. Social phenomena have been the object of thought in all social systems. The writings on social philosophy are an outstanding example of this. With the rise of industrialism and secularization and the loosening of previously accepted socialties, the social foundations themselves came to be questioned. This, as well as the constantly increasing complexity of social structures, demanded an independent science with its own methods, not the least of whose functions would be to hel…

Soul

(2,550 words)

Author(s): Elmar Klinger
1. Concept. The doctrine of the soul, as an expression of man’s self-understanding in general, is part of the subject-matter of general anthropology. Here it means, within the framework of a comprehensive notion of man (though one that is always coloured by its times), the constitutive element by which human existence is capable, by nature, of attaining selfhood. If freedom, decision, responsibility and knowledge are essential determinations of man, so that he not merely has his freedom and consc…

Spinozism

(883 words)

Author(s): Valerio Verra
Spinozism is the name given to a line of thought which goes back to Benedict (Baruch) de Spinoza (1632–77), combining elements of Jewish and neo-Platonic philosophy With Cartesian principles to form a rationalistic and monistic doctrine of salvation. Its central theme is based on the conviction of the essential unity of reality, which Spinoza reduces to a single substance, called Deus sive natura, God or nature. Thought and extension are not independent substances but “attributes” or aspects of substance; they embody two wholly parallel orders of the same …

Spirit

(2,797 words)

Author(s): Lourencino B. Puntel
1. Preliminary note. Spirit is one of the fundamental concepts in the history of philosophy, which might indeed be called, as in German, the “history of the spirit”. If the full extension and depth of the concept is to be grasped, it should not be constricted within the limits of a definition. The “historicity” which is an essential property of the spirit and the “history” which is its essential actuation must both be considered if we are to understand the concept in terms of the problems it sets to modern thought (see. History I). This will bring to light the hermeneutic circle involv…

Spiritualism

(1,542 words)

Author(s): Ernst Niermann
Spiritualism is a general term covering both certain philosophical statements of the reality and power of the spirit and of its relation to the material and corporeal world (1); and also certain tendencies and attitudes in the social and individual life of men in religious matters (2). The more common meaning in English (— “spiritism”), interest in certain abnormal phenomena attached to mediums etc., is not dealt with here; but see Psychology IV. 1. Spiritualistic tendencies in philosophy. In the history of philosophy, spiritualism is used to characterize opinions oppose…

Spirituality - Concept

(4,182 words)

Author(s): Josef Sudbrack
Part of Spirituality: 1. Concept 2. History of Christian Spirituality 3. Special Features A. Biblical Foundations and Historical Developments 1. “Spirit” in Scripture. Both the term and the content of what is generally referred to as Christian spirituality have their origin in the NT. Judaism had already combined in וּרתַ ( pneuma, spiritus, spirit) a number of associated meanings which are important for us. Spirit was the life-force stemming from God with its psychological and dogmatic intelligibility — with an ever clearer accent on “the religio…

Spirituality - History of Christian Spirituality

(2,764 words)

Author(s): Josef Sudbrack
Part of Spirituality: 1. Concept 2. History of Christian Spirituality 3. Special Features Any thumb-nail sketch of the history of Christian spirituality bristles with difficulties. There are so many facets to depict: theology (where, for instance, some authors have neglected St. Irenaeus), liturgy, religious custom, asceticism and mysticism in the strict sense, psychology, sociology, ethnology and other supplementary disciplines; the endless variety of spirituality in individuals, groups, trends, periods, etc. In spirituality, the subjective act, the individuum ineffabi…

Spirituality - Special Features

(7,628 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons | Jesús María Granero | Josef Sudbrack | Ernst Niermann | Friedrich Wulf
Part of Spirituality: 1. Concept 2. History of Christian Spirituality 3. Special Features A. Meditation 1. As opposed to the terms “mental prayer” and “contemplation”, the traditional terna “meditation” is increasingly employed nowadays, even outside the domain of Christian life and spirituality. Its meaning ranges from a psychosomatic technique and therapy acquired by yoga exercises and the practice of auto-suggestion, to ordinary intellectual and personal reflection, or even to advanced forms of religious an…

State

(5,019 words)

Author(s): Heinrich A. Rommen
1. Concept and Elements. This term, which nowadays is commonly, though not exclusively used for the political community, came into general currency from the 16th century onwards. Previous to this, terms such as πόλις, civitas, regnum, regimen prevailed (the “government” is still the more usual term in the English-speaking world). It signifies the permanent supra-familial way of life of a human grouping which is historically individualized through a variety of factors, cultural, geographic and biological, and in which the positive …
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