Sacramentum Mundi Online

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The image is a figure which is so constructed that it enables something to be really present. Hence the concept of image is not identical with that of a work of art. It is philosophically more comprehensive. In its theological form the concept is very close to that of a sacrament, since the sacrament likewise uses an outward sign to bring about the presence of another reality, grace. In the history of thought, the notion of image has been of paramount importance at one time: it was the point at which human minds diverged.

The metaphysical meaning of image is clear at once when the heathe…

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Herbert Schade, “Images”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 22 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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