Sacramentum Mundi Online

Get access Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Karl Rahner with Cornelius Ernst and Kevin Smyth.
Advisor for the online edition: Karen Kilby, Durham University

Sacramentum Mundi Online is the online edition of the famous six volume English reference work in Catholic Theology, edited (in 1968-1970) by Karl Rahner, one of the main Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Sacramentum Mundi: An Encyclopedia of Theology was originally published by Herder Verlag, and is now available online at Brill.

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Old Catholic Church

(793 words)

Author(s): Viktor ConZemius
1. Historical survey. The Old Catholic Church is the name given to a group of ecclesiastical communities independent of Rome but of an episcopal structure, which, since the 18th century, had left the Latin Church of the West and banded together in the “Union of Utrecht” (1889) on the basis of a common interpretation of the faith. There are such autocephalous episcopal Churches in Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, North America and the Philippines. The reasons for separation…

Old Testament Books - Historical Books

(4,110 words)

Author(s): Luis Arnaldich
Part of Old Testament Books: 1. Pentateuch 2. Historical Books 3. Wisdom Literature 4. Psalms 5. Prophets In the Greek and Latin canon a number of books are designated as “historical” which are classified as “prophetical” (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings) or “hagiographical” (Ruth, Esther 1:1–10:4, Ezra and Nehemiah, Chronicles) in the Hebrew Bible, or again are considered deuterocanonical (Tobit, Judith, Esther 10:4–16:24, Maccabees). Apart from Maccabees, the “historical books” are divided between the work of th…

Old Testament Books - Pentateuch

(3,747 words)

Author(s): Henri Cazelles
Part of Old Testament Books: 1. Pentateuch 2. Historical Books 3. Wisdom Literature 4. Psalms 5. Prophets The Pentateuch, a term taken from the Greek, designates the five books found at the beginning of the Bible, which constitute the Torah of Moses. The Fathers rarely use the word Pentateuch. Like the NT, they rather speak of “Moses” or “the Law”, νόμος in Greek, the word chosen by the Hellenistic Jews of Alexandria as the equivalent of the Hebrew Torah. The Torah is the law which governs the people of Israel, by virtue of which it enjoyed certain privileges in the Roman E…

Old Testament Books - Prophets

(10,641 words)

Author(s): Alfons Deissler
Part of Old Testament Books: 1. Pentateuch 2. Historical Books 3. Wisdom Literature 4. Psalms 5. Prophets A. Terminology In modern languages, prophets and prophecy are linked very much with the notion of soothsaying or predicting the future. The Greek word (προφήτης), in the religious realm, simply means the spokesman of the godhead. This term was used throughout the Septuagint to translate the Hebre w ׇככיּאַ. Etymologically, according to a verb found in Akkadian and Arabic, the latter means both “the called” and the “crier” and was obviously used with this …

Old Testament Books - Psalms

(1,736 words)

Author(s): Raymond J. Tournay
Part of Old Testament Books: 1. Pentateuch 2. Historical Books 3. Wisdom Literature 4. Psalms 5. Prophets 1. The designation “Psalms”, which is found in the NT (Lk 20:42; Acts 1:20; 13:33), goes back to the LXX, which uses ψαλμοί as the title of the Book of Psalms, to which no general title is given in the Hebrew. ψαλμός corresponds, no doubt, to the Hebrew Tfnţa, which is the title prefixed to 57 psalms and means “song” (to the accompaniment of the lyre). The 150 psalms are divided into five books, where the va…

Old Testament Books - Wisdom Literature

(7,031 words)

Author(s): Domenico Frangipane
Part of Old Testament Books: 1. Pentateuch 2. Historical Books 3. Wisdom Literature 4. Psalms 5. Prophets 1. The name. Towards 130 в.с., the grandson of ben Sirach, in the prologue to his Greek translation of his grandfather’s book, divided the national literature of Israel into “the law and the prophets and the other books”. What these “books” were, the ְכּתוּכיּם, we know from the Hebrew canon, which used the name for a series of books comprising the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah…

Old Testament Ethics

(2,224 words)

Author(s): Walter Kornfeld
ОТ revelation has its historical origins and progresses gradually. Incomplete in itself, it finds its conclusion and completion in the NT. There is a corresponding development in ОТ ethics. It is seen from the outset to be inseparably connected with ОТ religion and to be fundamentally aimed at making human behaviour conform to the will of Yahweh. The more clearly God’s personal will is recognized in its authoritative claim upon all spheres of life the more exalted does the ethiçal message become…

Old Testament History

(2,679 words)

Author(s): Benedikt Schwank
Palestine is strewn with pre-historic sites. They go back at least to the second-last interglacial period (the Mindel-Riss period), though this, according to the new radioactive carbon method of dating, is only about 100,000 B.C. 1. However, the history of the Israelite people does not begin here, but at the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C., with its ancestor Abraham, though it is difficult to determine his date precisely. He lived first in Ur, in southern Mesopotamia (Gen 11:28—31) Probably the Semitic tribe of the Terachite…

Old Testament Theology

(3,306 words)

Author(s): Luis Alonso-Schökel
1. Historical background. For over a thousand years Christian theology was predominantly, almost exclusively, biblical. In the 12th century a less biblical theology began with Peter Lombard and the Victorines. By the mid-13th century Bacon was complaining that the Liber Sententiarum had displaced the Liber Historiarum (Petrus Comestor) as a textbook. But to teach theology was still to expound Scripture: “magister theologiae legit sacram paginam”. Such also was St. Thomas’s view, though his compendium or Summa paved the way for an independent science of theology that wa…


(1,144 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
1. Meaning. Ontologism is the doctrine propounded under this name by V. Gioberti (1801–52) according to which human reason first grasps intuitively infinite being, though not in the same way as in the beatific vision. Being is grasped not as an indeterminate abstraction but as supremely real, containing within it all determinations, even though they cannot be distinguished by earthly knowledge. This being ( essere — also called ente by Gioberti, “that which is”) is perpetually present to the human mind, and it is only in the light of this being that existing thi…


(2,042 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
1. The term. The term “ontology” is first found in R. Goclenius ( Lexicon Philosophicum, 1613). The usage spread (J. Clauberg, Metaphysica de Ente [1656], J. B. Du Hamel [1678]), and came to be a technical term in philosophy through the writings of C. Wolff ( Philosophia prima sive ontologia [1729]). According to its Greek components (τὸ ὄν, λόγος), it means the doctrine about that which is. 2. All sciences treat of beings, since they take various realms of beings and investigate them under certain aspects. But ontology differs from all other sciences insofar a…