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(163 words)

[German Version]

The Latin word causa is usually understood to denote the causal element of a cause and effect relationship (Causality: I). The Aristotelian system of four causes (causa efficiens, causa finalis, causa formalis, and causa materialis; Arist. Metaph. I, 3; Phys. II, 3) profoundly influenced theological thought in Scholasticism and Lutheran orthodoxy (II, 2.a). Causa can also denote the necessary conditions (causa sine qua non) for something to take place. – In the expressions causa sui and causa prima, causa functions as a term for God. As causa sui, God is his own ca…

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Saarinen, Risto, “Causa”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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