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God - The Divine

(7,211 words)

Author(s): Leo Scheffczyk
Part of God: 1. The Divine 2. Knowability of God 3. Proofs of the Existence of God 1. Revelation and the question of God. Man as he finds himself includes a dynamism towards an absolute in being, meaning, truth and life. Christian belief in revelation has always designated this absolute by the term “God”. The reality which it denotes is in the Christian view a primary transcendental datum of the human spirit which must be firmly maintained, even though in the history of religion the empirical derivation of the idea of…

Concupiscence

(1,351 words)

Author(s): Leo Scheffczyk
Concupiscence is a fundamental element of Christian anthropology. This anthropology understands man as a being of finite resources orientated to the infinite, and hence intrinsically affected by an element of resistance and tension (between essence and existence, nature and person). Christian anthropology also sees in man a more profound division resulting from sin (original and actual). The fact of such a division is so obvious and familiar to human experience that it has found a place even in …

Word of God

(4,386 words)

Author(s): Leo Scheffcɀyk
A. Biblical The primal human sense of the importance of the word can already be seen among the primitive peoples, where the word has magical powers and can be used to put compulsion on the gods. But there is another perspective, in which the word appears as the power of a godhead, which explains its presence in the theogonies of ancient Egypt and the cosmogonies of Babylon (creation epic). But here too the word is supposed to have magical power, raised to its highest coefficient in the primal godhead. In the ОТ, the word of God is given special theological significance in the Priest…

Eucharist - Eucharistic Sacrifice

(2,271 words)

Author(s): Leo Scheffczyk
Part of Eucharist: 1. Theological 2. Liturgical 3. Eucharistic Sacrifice Though the Christian religion is a historical revelation, it does not regard itself merely as a conceptual and doctrinal orientation about the primal event of salvation which took place in the past, but rather as the unbroken handing on of that event across the ages down to the actual present. “The whole point of Christianity is that it is present.” (Kierkegaard.) It is only logical, therefore, that the crucial event in the culminati…

Sacrifice - Substitution (Representation)

(1,021 words)

Author(s): Leo Scheffczyk
Part of Sacrifice: 1. Concept of Sacrifice 2. Substitution (Representation) 3. Sacrifice of Christ This notion derives in part from juris- prudence, where substitution (“proxy”) means acting in another’s stead. Reflection on this reality in human law shows that it has metaphysical implications which shed light on the primal religious value of the notion. Comparative religion shows that the idea of substitution is familiar not only at the (later) stage of magic (primitive totemism) but also in the sacrificial …

Analogy of Faith

(1,716 words)

Author(s): Leo Scheffczyk
1. The expression analogia fidei is taken from the Bible, where it occurs only once, Rom 12:6, meaning “what is in proportion to (a man’s) faith” (ἀναλογία της πίστεως). It is the equivalent of the “measure of faith” mentioned just before in Rom 12:3 (μέτρον πίστεως). The notion is introduced to warn charismatics, especially those endowed with the gift of prophecy, not to indulge their charism too exuberantly and to avoid heady enthusiasms. Since prophecy in particular must be tested for its genuine…