Sacramentum Mundi Online

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States of Man, Theological
(1,743 words)

1. General concept. “State of man” is here understood in the theological sense — not in the biological sense of “natural state” or the like, nor in the ecclesiological sense of the lay, clerical or religious state, nor again in the social sense of class or calling. We are dealing with the fundamental inward and outward situations of man in the history of salvation which determine his relation to salvation and are constituted either by the free action of God or of man or of both.

2. The realities comprised under the term “states of man” — the state of man before the Fall; the stat…

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Karl Rahner, “States of Man, Theological”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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