Sacramentum Mundi Online

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1. Notion. Monogenism is the doctrine which affirms that the whole of mankind, at least those who lived after original sin, stem biologically from one single pair of ancestors. Monogenism is thus opposed to polygenism, according to which the evolutionary transition from beast to man took place in a number of cases, though it is assumed that the starting-point in the animal world was one and the same species. Thus the differentiation of the various races of man took place solely within the biologi…

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Karl Rahner, “Monogenism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 06 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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