Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(2,550 words)

1. Concept. The doctrine of the soul, as an expression of man’s self-understanding in general, is part of the subject-matter of general anthropology. Here it means, within the framework of a comprehensive notion of man (though one that is always coloured by its times), the constitutive element by which human existence is capable, by nature, of attaining selfhood. If freedom, decision, responsibility and knowledge are essential determinations of man, so that he not merely has his freedom and consc…

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Elmar Klinger, “Soul”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 09 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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