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Recent Developments in Trinitarian Theology: An International Symposium

Gavin D’Costa
Mathias Hassenfratz-Coffinet
Karen Kilby
Aristotle Papanikolaou
Christoph Schwöbel
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Recent Developments in Trinitarian Theology
    Book Description:

    Recent Developments in Trinitarian Theology explores the major renaissance that Trinitarian theology has undergone in recent decades. Remarkably, all the main Christian denominations have participated in this, and contemporary Trinitarian theology is a discussion that often crosses over confessional boundaries. . English-language theology plays an important role in the renewal of Trinitarian theology and that role is the focus of this symposium. Its purpose is twofold: to gather in an international setting leading thinkers to present the major developments in Trinitarian theology and to show how Trinitarian theology can contribute to new thinking in several contemporary systematic and critical fields, including political theology and the theology of religions. Includes contributions by Karen Kilby, Gavin D'Costa, Aristotle Papanikolaou, Christoph Schwobel, Christophe Chalamet, Mathias Hassenfratz-Coffinet, and Marc Vial.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-8748-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)
    Christophe Chalamet and Marc Vial

    The doctrine of the Trinity has been enjoying a striking “revival” for several decades. Any eighteenth- or nineteenth-century theologian would probably be astonished if she or he could witness all of the recent publications on this topic. Things looked very different back then. According to Immanuel Kant,

    … [the] doctrine of the Trinity, taken literally, hasno practical relevance at all, even if we think we understand it; and it is even more clearly irrelevant if we realize that it transcends all our concepts. Whether we are to worship three or ten persons in the Divinity makes no difference: the...

  4. 1 Where Do We Stand in Trinitarian Theology? Resources, Revisions, and Reappraisals
    (pp. 9-72)
    Christoph Schwöbel

    Twenty years ago, I wrote a brief introduction to a volume of essays entitledTrinitarian Theology Today: Essays on Divine Being and Act, under the heading “The Renaissance of Trinitarian Theology: Reasons, Problems and Tasks.”¹ The book is a collection of papers, originally delivered at the first international conference of the Research Institute in Systematic Theology, King’s College London, in 1990. Apart from giving a brief overview of the papers published in the volume, the introduction was intended as a kind of interim report on the new interest that had been given to the doctrine of the Trinity and its...

  5. 2 Trinity, Tradition, and Politics
    (pp. 73-86)
    Karen Kilby

    A great deal has been written about the Trinity in recent decades. Much of the language used to describe this mass of publication—a flourishing, a flowering, a revival, or a “renaissance”—has distinctly positive connotations, for most of those writing about the phenomenon, or writing from within it, see the outpouring of trinitarian theology as fundamentally a good thing, a moment in which Christian thought is simultaneously returning to its roots to rediscover a distinctive richness, and exhibiting fresh creative power—both going back and moving forward.

    There is also, however, a more skeptical minority. The doubts are directed,...

  6. 3 The Necessity for Theologia Thinking the Immanent Trinity in Orthodox Theology
    (pp. 87-106)
    Aristotle Papanikolaou

    In this essay, I will discuss the three most dominant trajectories of trinitarian theology in contemporary Orthodox theology: the apophaticism of Vladimir Lossky, the communion models of John Zizioulas and Dumitru Stăniloae, and the sophiology of Sergius Bulgakov. While none of these thinkers are anglophone theologians, and none of them wrote in English, with the exception of Zizioulas, the English translations of works by these particular theologians have dictated the influence of Orthodox trinitarian theology in the anglophone world. Indeed, there really is no anglophone Orthodox theology to speak of other than the influence of the translated works of these...

  7. 4 The Trinity and the World Religions Perils and Promise
    (pp. 107-126)
    Gavin D’Costa

    The doctrine of the Trinity performs many tasks in Christian theology. For instance, it allows us to name God as Father who is revealed in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Spirit, so that our God-talk can refer analogically to the divine mystery. This is most significant as we turn to the question of the Trinity and other religions. Reflection on the world religions is often divided into two specific areas. First, there is a general “theology of religions.” Here various theological questions are explored, such as: What, if any, is the mode of “revelation” outside Jesus Christ? How...

  8. 5 Colin Gunton on the Trinity and the Divine Attributes
    (pp. 127-140)
    Marc Vial

    The aim of this essay is not to offer a general presentation of the theology of Colin E. Gunton, who was born in 1941 and was a prominent theologian until his untimely death in 2003. Such an overview can be read elsewhere.¹ As I was working on the theme of God’s almightiness, assuming that the treatment of this question should be grounded in a trinitarian theology, I discovered Gunton’s last book,Act and Being, the precise purpose of which is to bring to the fore the resources an account of God’s trinitarian being and act offer for a specifically Christian...

  9. 6 God’s “Liveliness” in Robert W. Jenson’s Trinitarian Thought
    (pp. 141-152)
    Christophe Chalamet

    Robert W. Jenson is a major figure in anglophone contemporary theology. Whether one agrees with him or not, ignoring him is not an option. Born in 1930 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to a Lutheran family, he embarked on the study of theology at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, in 1947, before going to Luther Seminary in 1951, returning to Luther College in 1955 as an instructor in religion and philosophy (1955–1957). He then traveled to the University of Heidelberg in order to pursue his studies at the doctoral level. Mentored by Peter Brunner, Jenson studied Karl Barth’s doctrine of...

  10. 7 Social Trinity Theological Doctrine as a Foundation for Metaphysics
    (pp. 153-166)
    Mathias Hassenfratz-Coffinet

    This essay focuses on the theme of the Trinity, conceived metaphysically, in Joseph Bracken’s thought. Bracken is among the people who, when thinking about God, are not interested in debates about nature, essence, or substance. A key influence on his thought is Alfred North Whitehead’s metaphysics, which is a metaphysics of events in which reality is dynamic.

    A. N. Whitehead (1861–1947), the father of process philosophy, elaborated his philosophical system as an attempt to redefine reality so as to understand the existence and interaction of all the elements of the universe in a framework informed by modern science, especially...

  11. List of Contributors
    (pp. 167-168)
  12. Index
    (pp. 169-171)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 172-172)