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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: August 2012

6 - Contemporary trinitarian theology: problems and perspectives



In the previous chapter we dealt with Jürgen Moltmann's innovative theology of a suffering God. In this discussion it became clear how Lutheran and Hegelian elements led to a critique of traditional understandings of God, especially the traditional view on divine impassibility, and the way the created world relates to God.

Within contemporary theology Moltmann has probably done most to develop a social and political trinitarian theology, and it is this important contribution we take up at the outset of this chapter. The reader will recall that trinitarian tradition has, in effect, left us two models or analogies for the Trinity, namely, the social and the psychological model. By social we mean a focus on the Trinity as a community of persons and the anthropological and political ramifications of the doctrine – a trinitarian orthopraxis. The ‘psychological analogy’, on the other hand, associated initially with Augustine and later developed by Aquinas, is based on the doctrine of the imago Dei – the human person made in the triune God's image and likeness (Gen. 1:26–7). Augustine, as we have seen, found a reflection of the Trinity in the individual human person, specifically in the human mind and heart.

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