Sacramentum Mundi Online

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1. Concept. By historicism we understand “a view of man, his culture and his values which is on principle historical” (E. Troeltsch). It replaces a generalizing concept of man’s changeless nature by knowledge of his concrete individuality in history. “The State, law, morality, religion, and art are dissolved in the flux of historical change; they can only be understood by us as elements of a historical development. This helps us to see better how the contingent and personal is rooted in broader, …

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Hans Maier, “Historicism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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