Sacramentum Mundi Online

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1. The general notion. The notion of habitus is used to explain the special nature of human action. Since man is spirit realizing himself in freedom, he comes upon himself not merely as a neutral entity, but primarily as a task imposed. Through and in his action he must make himself what he is and ought to be. But this power to make himself does not mean that he is totally indeterminate, as if he had to make an absolute beginning at each moment. On the contrary, the free action of man as spirit always …

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Oswald Schwemmer, “Habitus”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 27 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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