Religion Past and Present

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I. Systematic Theology – II. Ethics

I. Systematic Theology

The word “character” derives from Gk χαράσσειν (charássein: “sharpen, carve, mark”) and means a note, a mark, a stamp; it also expresses a proprietary relationship, for example between master and slave (Seal/Stamp). Theophrastus (c. 300 bce) applied the term metaphorically to human types; since the French moralist La Bruyère (Les caractères, 1688), it has been used to express the “characteristic” nature of an individual's desires and actions.

Augustine u…

Cite this page
Brändle, Werner and James, Aaron, “Character”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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