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The quote is this one : «Dios es el Absoluto en el sentido literal de esta palabra, el que está absuelto o desligado radicalmente de las cosas.»

Well, in this situation I don't think that 'absuelto' means absolved. What is the meaning of this word in this situation, then?

Any help would be appreciated.

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The author here is using the etymological sense of the words absuelto and absoluto; both derive from the Latin word absolūtus. When he writes absuelto o desligado radicalmente, he is not expressing two possibilities: he means that, etymologically, absuelto means desligado.

So, if you just want to know what does absuelto mean in this fragment, the author himself is telling you. If you want to translate it into English, you could actually use absolved, since its etymological origin is the same. This reference to etymological meanings, especially for words derived from Latin or Greek, is not unusual in religious texts.

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  • To complement your answer with @Rodrigo answer: «Both words, "absuelto" and "absoluto", are historically related. Derived from the Latin verb "solvere" which means "separate the components(...)"» wordreference.com/definition/absolve "to make loose"/free. Feb 2 '15 at 12:31
  • OK, I've added a little explanation on the etymological link between both words.
    – Gorpik
    Feb 2 '15 at 16:16
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I think that it actually does mean absolved.

Dios es el Absoluto en el sentido literal de esta palabra, el que está absuelto o desligado radicalmente de las cosas.

God is the Absolute in the literal sense of the word, He who is absolved and unbound from things.

To my understanding it means that he is absolved (has no obligation of any kind). Since there is no authority above Him (He is the Absolute), the connotation is also that He is not absolved by a higher authority (like the verb absolver would imply) but rather that there where no obligations He has to respond to. So He hasn't really been freed of his obligations, rather, there were no obligations for Him and there was no one He had to respond to.

He is "absuelto y desligado": absolved and unbound (from/to) the things (the things meaning whatever they do in the context of this quote).

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Both words, "absuelto" and "absoluto", are historically related. Derived from the Latin verb "solvere" which means "separate the components, release". Thus:

Absuelto: Which has been released from paying a fine or a payment. [Absolved]

Absoluto: Something whole, which has not been divided into pieces or has parts. [Absolute]

The quote's writer knows this etymological relation and want to make an interesting comment, probably arcane, but it really is wrong or at least try to make believe that both words "deeply" mean the same.

No, in Spanish that someone is "absoluto" not mean it is "absuelto".

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  • why do you say that it's wrong, if the root is really the same? Feb 2 '15 at 11:55
  • Watch this equivalent sentence: "John is the guard in the literal sense of the word, which stands at the door of the ward". "Guard" and "ward" have the same root, but not means the same.
    – Rodrigo
    Feb 2 '15 at 12:17
  • Actually the etymological root of the words from your is not the same. Guard comes from french garder, and ward from germanic language. Check this wordreference.com/definition/ward Feb 2 '15 at 12:26
  • Plus 1, for the latin meaning. And thanks! Feb 2 '15 at 12:27

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