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
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Using the figure of Pope Francis for evangelization 10 hours ago
If Catholic priests never preach on sexual morality, be suspicious 10 hours ago
On Bishops and Jesuits, Saints and Angels September 30
Bishop Finn in Kansas City: Not quite up to date? September 30
Oh, that sort of misconduct September 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30