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Catholic, Catholicity
(2,292 words)

1. Term and Usage

The word “catholic” (Gk. katholikos, “relating to the whole, comprehensive,” from katholou, “on the whole, generally”) has appeared often in philosophy from the time of Plato and Aristotle (Greek Philosophy). Theology adopted it in the lexical sense and developed its basic meaning with reference to the church, its teaching, and its members.

1.1. Though it does not occur in the NT, “catholic” as a predicate used of the chu…

Cite this page
Fahlbusch, Erwin, “Catholic, Catholicity”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 16 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_C246>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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