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Glossary

19 February 2016

Analogy of being: likeness to God in all things, on the basis that effects bear some trace of a likeness to their cause — see also maior dissimilitudo.

Creatio ex nihilo: Latin “creation out of nothing” — teaching of Abrahamic faiths that God did not create using pre-existing matter, and, therefore, that nothing is coeval with God.

Imago dei: Latin “image of God” — teaching that human beings bear God’s image and likeness, following Genesis 1.12.

Immanence and transcendence: that God is intimately present to the world (immanence), and entirely independent of it (transcendence); the profundity of the former rests on the profundity of the latter.

Maior dissimilitudo: phrase from the Fourth Lateran Council (AD 1215) — the whole runs “no similarity between creator and creature can be expressed without acknowledging a yet greater unlikeness.”

Supernatural: in theological usage, not the “paranormal” but that which lies beyond natural capacity and destiny of creatures, and is, therefore, a gift of grace.

Theodicy: response or answer to the problem of evil in relation to God; from Greek theos (God)and dike (justice), therefore “proving the justice of God”.

Vestigia Trinitatis: Latin “trace of the Trinity” — idea, associated with Augustine, that human beings bear a three-fold image of God as Trinity, particularly in memory, intellect, and will.

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