Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

H

Summary

Habitus Although it is the etymological root of (and sometimes translated as) ‘habit’, the Latin term habitus is used in theology to refer to a more particular quality than the more or less idiosyncratic patterns of behaviour designated by its English cognate. On the most general level, habitus is a creature's disposition to act in a particular way, as considered in relation to its nature (so that a habitus is good when it accords with nature and bad when it does not). Such dispositions are subject to modification and manifest themselves in regular patterns of behaviour that in their familiarity are experienced by the agent as ‘natural’. Because the possession of proper habitus is crucial to facility in any complex action (e.g., listening, writing, riding a bicycle), their acquisition can be considered an aspect of creaturely perfection. From a specifically moral perspective the totality of a person's habitus constitutes her character.

Within the specifically theological context of medieval Scholasticism (see T. Aquinas, ST 1/2.51.1–2, 4), a distinction is drawn between habitus that are innate to an agent (e.g., knowledge of first principles), habitus that are acquired by the action of the agent that comes to possess it (e.g., reasoning from first principles), and habitus that are infused into an agent by God (e.g., wisdom). The category of infused habitus is particularly significant as a means of explaining how human beings acquire perfections (ultimately, the beatific vision) that are supernatural and therefore by definition beyond their natural capacities.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Glick, W., The Reality of Christianity: A Study of Adolf von Harnack as Historian and Theologian (Harper & Row, 1967).
Welch, C., Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century, vol. II: 1870–1914 (Yale University Press, 1985).
McDannell, C. and Lang, B., Heaven − A History (Yale University Press, 1988).
Schwarz, H., Eschatology (Eerdmans, 2000).
Hodgson, P. C., ed., G. W. F. Hegel: Theologian of the Spirit (Fortress Press, 1997).
Pinkard, T., Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Taylor, C., Hegel (Cambridge University Press, 1975).
Balthasar, H., Dare We Hope ‘That All Men Be Saved’? With a Short Discourse on Hell (Ignatius Press, 1988).
Powys, D., ‘Hell’: A Hard Look at a Hard Question: The Fate of the Unrighteous in New Testament Thought (Paternoster Press, 1997).
Jeanrond, W. G., Theological Hermeneutics: Development and Significance (SCM, 1994).
Thiselton, A. C., New Horizons in Hermeneutics (HarperCollins, 1992).
Tracy, D., Plurality and Ambiguity: Hermeneutics, Religion, Hope (Harper & Row, 1987).
Vanhoozer, K. J., First Theology: God, Scripture and Hermeneutics (InterVarsity Press, 2002).
Špidliík, T., The Spirituality of the Christian East, vol. II: Prayer (Cistercian Publications, 2005).
Burnett, C. and Dronke, P., eds., Hildegard of Bingen: The Context of Her Thought and Art (Warburg Institute, 1998).
Newman, B., Voice of the Living Light (University of California Press, 1998).
A. Amaladasas, S. J., ed., Indian Christian Thinkers/Christian Thinkers in India, 3 vols. (Satya Nilayam, 2005–7).
Carman, J. B., Majesty and Meekness: A Comparative Study of Contrast and Harmony in the Concept of God (Eerdmans, 1994).
Clooney, F. X., Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries between Religions (Oxford University Press, 2001).
Clooney, F. X., ‘Restoring “Hindu Theology” as a Category in Indian Intellectual Discourse’ in Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, ed. Flood, G. (Blackwell, 2003), 447–77.
Clooney, F. X., ‘Hinduism and Christianity’ in SCM Press Dictionary of Spirituality, ed. Sheldrake, P. (John Knox Press, 2005), 336–8.
Murty, K. Satchidananda, Reason and Revelation in Advaita Vedanta (Columbia University Press, 1959).
Harnack, A., History of Dogma, 7 vols. (Williams & Norgate, 1896–9).
Jedin, H. and Dolan, J., eds., History of the Church, 10 vols. (Herder and Herder, 1987).
Newman, J. H., An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (J. Toovey, 1845).
Quasten, J., Patrology, 4 vols. (Christian Classics, 1983–6).
Rahner, K., Theological Investigations, vol. IV (Helicon, 1966).
Stöve, E., ‘Kirchengeschichtsschreibung’ in Theologische Realenzyklopädie, ed. Krause, G. and Müller, G., vol. XVIII (W. de Gruyter, 1989), 535–60.
Chapman, M. D., Ernst Troeltsch and Liberal Theology (Oxford University Press, 2001).
Graf, F. W., ‘Der “Systematiker” der kleinen Göttinger Fakultät: Ernst Troeltschs Promotionsthesen in ihr Göttinger Kontext’ in Troeltsch-Studien, vol. 1: Untersuchungen zur Biographie und Werkgeschichte, ed. Graf, F. W. and Renz, H. (Gütersloh, 1982), 235–90.
Troeltsch, E., ‘The Dogmatics of the History-of-Religions School’ in Religion in History (Fortress Press, 1991), 87–108.
Stewart, J. W., Mediating the Center: Charles Hodge on American Science, Language, Literature and Politics (Princeton Theological Seminary, 1995).
Cohn-Sherbok, D., ed., Holocaust Theology: A Reader (New York University Press, 2002).
Rittner, C., Smith, S. D., and Steinfeldt, I., eds., The Holocaust and the Christian World: Reflections on the Past, Challenges for the Future (Continuum, 2000).
Brock, S., The Holy Spirit in the Syrian Baptismal Tradition, 3rd edn (Gorgias Press, 2008).
Coakley, S., On Desiring God: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’ (Cambridge University Press, in press).
Jenson, R. W., The Triune Identity (Fortress Press, 1982).
Rogers, Jr E. F., After the Spirit: A Constructive Pneumatology from Resources Outside the Modern West (Eerdmans, 2005).
Rogers, Jr E. F., ed., The Holy Spirit: Classic and Contemporary Readings (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).
Edwards, O. C., A History of Preaching (Abingdon Press, 2004).
Kay, J. F., Preaching and Theology (Chalice Press, 2007).
Lischer, R., ed., The Company of Preachers: Wisdom on Preaching, Augustine to the Present (Eerdmans, 2002).
Barth, K., Church Dogmatics (T&T Clark, 1961), IV/3, 1.
Meeks, M. D., Origins of the Theology of Hope (Fortress Press, 1974).
Moltmann, J., Theology of Hope: On the Ground and Implication of Christian Eschatology (SCM, 1967 [1964]).
Moltmann, J., The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology (Fortress Press, 1996 [1995]).
Pannenberg, W., Basic Question in Theology: Collected Essays, 2 vols. (Fortress Press, 1970–1 [1967]).
Ishay, M. R., ed., The Human Rights Reader: Major Political Essays, Speeches, and Documents from the Bible to the Present, 2nd edn (Routledge, 2007).
Ruston, R., Human Rights and the Image of God (SCM, 2004).
Balfour, A. J., Theism and Humanism (Hodder and Stoughton, 1915).
Boyle, M. O., Erasmus on Language and Method in Theology (University of Toronto Press, 1977).
Kurtz, P., In Defense of Secular Humanism (Prometheus Books, 1983).
Maritain, J., Integral Humanism: Temporal and Spiritual Problems of a New Christendom (Scribner, 1968).
Trinkaus, C. E., In Our Image and Likeness: Humanity and Divinity in Italian Humanist Thought (Constable, 1970).