Trinitarian Theology as Participation

Frans Jozef van Beeck

in The Trinity

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780199246120
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600531 | DOI:
                      Trinitarian Theology as Participation

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After he commends theology's recent shift toward hermeneutics, Frans Jozef van Beeck analyzes participative knowledge as it occurs, respectively, at the levels of cosmology (largely optional), anthropology (morally necessary), and theology (the heart of all knowing. His conclusion: the One God ‘in whom we are alive and move and have being’ is the God whom we are naturally equipped to know by (mostly apophatic) participation in the Word, Jesus Christ, ‘in whom all things were made’; actual participation occurs ‘in the Holy Spirit’, i.e. by supernatural grace. All this belies recent claims that the tradition has (wrongly) separated theologia from soteriology. Finally, van Beeck offers five proposals: (1) trinitarian theology must draw on faith and worship, not on existing theologies; (2) to enable this, a careful hermeneutics of the trinitarian tradition is called for; (3) the claim that modernity's understanding of God is ‘classical theism’ deserves suspicion; (4) we must study the trinitarian tradition's rootedness in the Hebrew and Jewish Scriptures; (5) we should be clear about the fact that Christian doxology and soteriology have been replaced by rational Christianity's interest in human religiosity and by efforts at defining salvation on purely human terms.

Keywords: anthropology; cosmology; doxology; faith; grace; hermeneutics; knowledge; participation; religiosity; soteriology; van Beeck; worship

Chapter.  13036 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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