Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,470 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ABSTRACTION

A mental act by which the mind attends to one aspect of a thing without attending to other aspects naturally present in the same object. On the first level of abstraction, the mind disregards individual material things and concentrates on some universal material nature such as water or color. On the second level, the mind concentrates on abstract quantity, such as circle, plane, or square. On the third level, proper to metaphysics, the mind disregards all matter and grasps its object without any necessary relation to matter, arriving at the knowledge of being, existence, substance, unity, and the like. It is by means of abstraction that human reason, apart from revelation, can arrive at the knowledge of God's existence, and his attributes of infinite wisdom, goodness, and power. Abstraction is, therefore, the underlying principle of natural theology.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 3 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 6 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! 23 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6