Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(653 words)

Deism designates a defective form of thought with regard to the relationship between God and the world. It reduces God’s function as ground of the world’s existence to his giving it its first impulse. According to the classical comparison of God with a clock-maker, which is found as early as Nicolaus of Oresmes (d. 1382), God wound up the clock of the world once and for all at the start, so that it can run on and produce world history without his creative conservation and his concurrent influenc…

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Walter Kern, “Deism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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