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.

For more information:


(1,158 words)

Author(s): Joseph Lécuyer
“Episcopalism” is often used to designate the doctrine and organization of the Episcopalian Churches of the Reformation. It is the ordinary English and American usage, adopted by the Enciclopedia Cattolica, V, 447, and by the short article Episcopalismo in the Enciclopedìa Universal, XX, 321. But Ettore Rota, in the article Reforme (Età delle) in the Enciclopedia Italiana, uses the word in a very different sense, a sense which is also that of H. Raab in the article “Episkopalismus” in LTK, I…


(1,702 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
1. The issue. Everyone whose moral consciousness has matured to the point where he can form personal moral judgments, faces the problem of how to behave when his personal ethical insight comes into conflict with the demands of the ethos of society. For by the nature of the case no ethos embodied in a society can adequately deal with all the moral problems arising from the constant changes in our cultural situation because of our history and historicity. And, on the other hand, responding to the cl…


(2,108 words)

Author(s): André Feuillet
This article is not concerned with the whole problem of eschatology, but only with the exegetical and theological position which makes the eschatological hope in the strict sense (expectation of the imminent parousia and the end of the present world) the essential element both of the kerygma of primitive Christianity and of the authentic teaching of Jesus. This view has been given currency by three exegetes in particular:J. Weiss, A. Loisy and A. Schweitzer. We shall first summarize their ideas …


(3,526 words)

Author(s): Karl Rahner
This article will not deal with the Last Things in general or in detail. What is intended is a fundamental reflection on the nature of the theological treatise on eschatology. The question is not merely of theoretical and learned interest but has its importance for the proclamation of the Christian …


(2,055 words)

Author(s): Joh.-Baptist Lotz
1. The noun “essence” comes from the verb “esse”, “to be”, and was formed as if from the present participle, like “be-ing”. In German the word for essence, Wesen, is both verb and noun. As verb it means to occur, happen, prevail. For Heidegger, for example, the Wesen, der Wahrheit (essence of truth) goes beyond the “usual concept of Wesen (essence)” ( Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, 3rd ed., 1954, p. 27), and is identical with the Walten des Geheimnisses (dominance of mystery) ( ibid., p. 24). Behind this stands the Wahrheit des Wesens (the truth of essence), where Wesen, essence, is being thought o…

Eternity - Biblical

(572 words)

Author(s): Adolf Darlap
Part of Eternity: 1. Biblical 2. Theological 1. The ОТ term for eternity, צןלם, is used for preference to describe the being of God, and given a certain emphasis, but always God’s being insofar as it is superior to man and his existence. God was already there before the world of man was created (Ps 90:2; 102:25–29; Job 38:4; Gen 1:1). A thousand years are as a moment in his sight (Ps 90:4). Thus he is the eternal in the first place as “the most ancient God”, later, from Deutero-Isaiah on, also expressly call…

Eternity - Theological

(1,619 words)

Author(s): Joseph de Finance
Part of Eternity: 1. Biblical 2. Theological 1. General concept. If one discounts the vague scriptural use of “eternity” to indicate “a very long duration”, one Can distinguish in general three uses of this concept:a) eternity as unlimited time, which is the way in which the unreflecting mind represents the eternity of God. Yet one also finds this meaning given to it by philosophers (Descartes, Lequ…


(3,556 words)

Author(s): José Luis L. Aranguren
1. Notion and history. History of philosophy and philosophy are, inseparable, and for ethics history is essential in another sense also. Philosophy, as a deliberate study, takes place within man’s history. But it is· not the interest of all men. All need a more or less explicit view of the world, but this need not be philosophical. It may be a religious orientation. But men at all times, whether they give themselves to philosophy or not, have to live, that is, they have to give…

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…

Eucharist - Liturgical

(5,501 words)

Author(s): Josef Andreas Jungmann
Part of Eucharist: 1. Theological 2. Liturgical 3. Eucharistic Sacrifice The Mass is the celebration of the Eucharist in the various forms prescribed by the Church. These forms enshrine and explicitate something considered in tradition as the command of the Lord:the utterance in thanksgiving of the sacramental words over bread and wine, and the eating and drinking of the consecrated gifts. A. Various Names for the Mass The various names for the Mass which have been used from the beginning give us an idea of how these forms developed. In the primitive Church, Mass was called the “Lord’s Supper” (1 Cor 11:20) or the “breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7), since it continued the Last Supper and the act Christ instituted there in bread and wine. Before long we also find the term ευχαριστία, which is taken from the biblical account of the institution (1 Cor 11:24; Lk 22:19) and stresses the element of prayer. By the end of the 1…

Eucharist - Theological

(8,150 words)

Author(s): Johannes Betz
Part of Eucharist: 1. Theological 2. Liturgical 3. Eucharistic Sacrifice A. Concept Eucharist is the designation for the sacramental meal of the Church celebrated according to the example and the instructions of Jesus, a designation appearing as early as the 1st century and predominating ever since. The word expresses fundamental insights into the nature of the action. The term, which derives from the “thanksgiving” of Jesus at the Last Supper (Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24; Mk 14:23; Mt 26:27) means, as does the r…