Sacramentum Mundi Online

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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.

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(2,816 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
To make a correct evaluation of the evangelical counsel of virginity, it is well to start with the specification of man through his sexual nature. Because of this sexual nature he can achieve a full realization of his being as a person only if his attitude to sex is an open one, in the sense that he places it at the service of an ordered self-love, love of neighbour and love of God. If he does this, he exercises the virtue of chastity. Now this sexual specification of man, calling for a free per…

Virtue - Acquired and Infused Virtues

(1,822 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
Part of Virtue: 1. Acquired and Infused Virtues 2. Love as the Key Virtue 1. Introduction and general concept. Virtue in the widest sense is any perfectly developed capacity of man’s spiritual soul, or the development itself. There can therefore be virtue, for example, in the domain of cognition: intellectual virtues. In the narrower sense, virtue is the power (ability, skill, facility) to realize moral good, and especially to do it joyfully and perseveringly even against inner and outer obstacles and at the cost…

Virtue - Love as the Key Virtue

(7,084 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
Part of Virtue: 1. Acquired and Infused Virtues 2. Love as the Key Virtue A. Methodical Preliminaries 1. Love is here understood in such a way that it can be predicated of the relationship of God to man, of the relationship of man to God and of men among themselves (on which last aspect see also Charity II). Such a use of the word means that its scope is so enlarged and at the same time so manifold that it can only with difficulty escape being reduced to a sort of barely intelligible code-word. 2. The word “love” takes in so much in Christianity that it can no longer denote only a partic…


(1,312 words)

Author(s): Karl Vladimir Truhlar
The free self-donation of God implies a revelation of his personal mystery. Within man’s consciousness it cannot be comprehended by any sort of introversion; it cannot be “seen” in the sense of ontologism, but only co-experienced (in the acts of the theological virtues), And yet such a non- objective co-experience of the divine light and speech in the Christian who knows how to discern it is basically already a visio and auditio (see Revelation, Ontologism, Virtues I). The basic elements of this experience can then be deepened through the “light of infused contemplation”…