Sacramentum Mundi Online

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The Church has traditionally used creeds or symbols in its liturgy. Here we shall study the origin and structure of these formulas to show their theological importance and meaning.

1 .The earliest creeds. The word symbol (symbolum) appeared first of all in the Latin Church (in particular in Africa: Tertullian and Cyprian). The East at first used expressions such as πίστις, μϰθημϰ, ἔϰθεσις, πίστεως (exposition of faith); the word symbolon appeared in the middle of the 4th century (Council of Laodicea, can. 7). The writers who explain the term symbolum understand it as a “sign of reco…

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Pierre-Thomas Camelot, “Creeds”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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