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Revelation - Primitive Revelation

(2,102 words)

Author(s): Heinrich Fries
Part of Revelation: 1. Concept of Revelation 2. God’s Self-Communication 3. Primitive Revelation 4. Private Revelation 1. The history of the notion. It is hard to tell when the term first came into theology. All that can be said is that it was in the modern era and that the theme was mainly expounded in the theological movements of the first half of the 19th century. But the notion itself may be said to have been “always there” in theology, when man was considered in his original state in the setting of paradise, an…


(3,030 words)

Author(s): Heinrich Fries
A. Definition “Myth” meant originally (Greek μύθος) word, news, language, message, but could also mean an event and history. The word and message of myth are concerned with life, the world and things as a totality, describing their origins, relationships and meaning. More precisely, myth is characterized by the fact that it sees the empirical world and its happenings, and above all man and his action, in the light of a reality which constitutes them, makes them a unity and at the same time transce…

Fundamental Theology

(3,503 words)

Author(s): Heinrich Fries
Fundamental theology is the word now used for what used to be called apologetics. This does not mean that the subject-matter and goal of apologetics have been abandoned, but that they have been made part of a more comprehensive theological reflection, primarily a positive one, where apologetics plays a decisive role but is not the whole of fundamental theology. If we start from the words themselves, fundamental theology means the investigations of the foundations in the realm of theology. These foundations are not artificially constructed like an ideolo…

Faith and Knowledge

(4,089 words)

Author(s): Heinrich Fries
The relation between faith and knowledge is frequently formulated as follows: to believe means the same as not to know, or to know only provisionally, partly or superficially. This is not only an indication of the difference between the two spheres, but represents a definite characterization of faith as inferior. If knowledge is taken to mean well-founded and certain understanding, and if understanding indicates mental assimilation of that which is, and if the substantiation and certitude of und…


(4,252 words)

Author(s): Heinrich Fries | Johann Finsterhölzl
A. Notion The term infallibility very often is understood to imply also sinlessness, a mistake which had to be denounced by Bishop Gasser as the official relator at Vatican I (see Mansi, LII, 1219). “Inerrancy” might be better, but this is usually reserved for the same quality in Scripture. The positive content of the term infallibility is simply “truth” or “truthfulness”. In the following exposition we continue to use the word infallibility. Infallibility must be distinguished from inspiration, which is attributed only to the attestation of revelation in the Church…