The course aims to help the student achieve a firm grasp of the Church’s understanding of the Mystery of the Triune God. After exploring the Biblical foundations of the Mystery it will integrate these with key developments in Patristic, Medieval and Contemporary theological thought, particular attention being paid to Magisterial teaching, both ancient and modern. While the course aims to ensure that the student is adequately informed on the topic, and competent in its regard, its ultimate objective is to deepen the personal relation with God. It will have achieved its purpose if the student comes to a more lively faith in the Trinitarian Mystery, leading to a life more consciously and deliberately lived out in communion with each of the three Divine Persons. As an apostolic worker, the student will then be able to articulate the Divine Life that is within, communicating it joyfully, and with ease, to others.
Survey of the renewed interest in Trinitarian doctrine in recent decades on account of its perceived relevance to issues facing the Church today. Outline of the basic distinction between the Immanent and the Economic Trinity, and consideration of what we mean by the term ‘Mystery’. The Biblical section is foundational, and will be considerable. It will indicate the progressive revelation of God in the Old and the New Testaments. The One God of Israel is revealed as the Father by Jesus Christ, the Co-eternal and Incarnate Son, who carries out His mission in and with the Equally Eternal Spirit. The development of Trinitarian dogma in the writings of the Fathers and the early Councils, noting complementary developments in the articulation of the Mystery in East and West, and considering the issue of the Filioque. Overviews of Augustine’s De Trinitate and some of the later medieval authors who wrote on the Trinity, for instance Richard of St. Victor, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Jan van Ruusbroec. The contribution of some more recent theologians will also be explored, for instance Rahner, von Balthasar, Congar, Galot, Durrwell, La Cugna. The above will include reflection on the language we use when talking of God, and discussion of different ways of viewing its appropriateness, and limits. The processions, the relations, the mystery of God’s self-giving and the communion God has established with man will all be treated. Just as each Divine Person will be considered individually so too will the essence and attributes of God as such. The missiological, ecumenical and inter-religious implications of Trinitarian Theology will be borne in mind throughout, as will the diversity of contemporary contexts. Learning Outcomes: More than ever before, God will become a living reality in the life of the student. He or she will have gained a deeper awareness of God’s Absolute Oneness by entering more consciously and deeply into a lively relation with each of the three Divine Persons. The course should constitute a moment of both intellectual and spiritual growth for the student, who will become more consciously aware of the Divine Life within and around him. That growth should always continue.
O’COLLINS G., The Tripersonal God: Understanding and Interpreting the Trinity (New York, Continuum 2004). BALTHASAR HANS URS VON, Credo: Meditations on the Apostles’Creed (San Francisco, Ignatius Press 1990); CONGAR YVES, I Believe in the Holy Spirit, Volumes I-III (London, Herder & Herder 1997. Paperback Edition. Volumes I-III. U.S.A, Crossroad Publishing Co. 1998); EMERY GILLES, Trinity in Aquinas (Ann Arbor, Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University 22006); HILL EDMUND, The Mystery of the Trinity (London, Geoffrey Chapman 1985); KASPER WALTER, The God of Jesus Christ (London, SCM Press Ltd. 1984); LETHAM R., The Holy Trinity in Scripture, History, Theology and Worship (Phillipsburg, P&R Publishing 2004); MCDONNELL KILIAN, The Other Hand of God: The Holy Spirit as the Universal Touch and Goal (Collegeville, Liturgical Press 2003): O’DONNELL JOHN J., The Mystery of the Triune God (London, Sheed & Ward 1988).