Religion Past and Present

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Counsels of Perfection
(1,275 words)

[German Version]

On the basis of 1 Cor 7:25, Catholic moral theology distinguishes between evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection (consilia) and evangelical precepts (praecepta) as guidelines for a Christian life. According to Catholic canon law (CIC 1983, cc. 573–586), the counsels of perfection represent a vocation of particular individuals (c. 574 §1) to radical discipleship (c. 577). As norms of a Christian life made possible by grace, the counsels are a charismatic express…

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zur Mühlen, Karl-Heinz, “Counsels of Perfection”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 January 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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