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

STATE OF NATURE

The mythical condition of human beings before they were affected by civilization. This condition was idealized by many philosophers, e.g., Jean Jacques Rousseau, as a norm of what the human situation would be except for the corrupting influence of human education and society. It was used by some (e.g., John Locke) as an argument for humanity's original rights to liberty and equality, and by others (e.g., Thomas Hobbes) as proof for the need of a state to control the social instincts of human beings.

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 1 hours ago
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - 1 hours ago