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

FORM CRITICISM

As a broad discipline, it studies the literary structure of historical documents that preserve an earlier tradition. Its basic assumption is that the earlier, oral use of the tradition shaped the material and resulted in a variety of literary forms found in the final written record. A critical study of these forms sheds light on the life and thinking of the people who preserved the tradition. Applied to the Bible, form criticism mistakenly assumes that the native force behind Christian tradition in the early Church was not a desire to preserve the memory of what Jesus had preached and done, but was a need to serve the religious fervor of a new community. Such necessity would tend to obscure and embellish, if not distort the facts to meet the needs of an idealistic faith.

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

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18
St. Augustine's warning to pastors September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18