Contemporary Orthodox Currents on the Trinity

Aristotle Papanikolaou

in The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557813
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Contemporary Orthodox Currents on the Trinity

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This article explores contemporary Orthodox Trinitarian theology, highlighting the influence of Sergius Bulgakov, Vladimir Lossky and John Zizioulas. It explains that Bulgakov conceived the Trinity in terms of the actualization, in the Holy Spirit, of the self-revelation of the Father in the Son in which process the tri-hypostatic being of God was revealed as Sophia in eternal communion with humanity. Lossky held that the Trinity was revealed in the Incarnation of Christ, an antinomic truth that requires an apophatic and mystical theology. Zizioulas adopted Lossky's emphasis on the monarchy of the Father and on personhood as freedom from the limitations of nature, but distanced himself from Lossky's apophaticism and neo-Palamite commitment to the essence/energies distinction.

Keywords: Orthodox Trinitarian theology; Sergius Bulgakov; Vladimir Lossky; John Zizioulas; self-revelation; Holy Spirit; Father; Incarnation of Christ; antinomic truth; apophaticism

Article.  5492 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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