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The Trinity Paperback – September 1, 1991


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Paperback, September 1, 1991
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: New City Press; English Translation edition (September 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911782966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911782967
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What Father Hill has provided is a splendid translation, made from a trustworthy Latin text, of what is for some of us the foundation work of Christian theology. He has fitted out his translation, clearly the best of the four that have been made into English, with notes that go well beyond the perfunctory and a 38-page introduction that is a delight to read. --Barry Ulanov, Journal of Religion and Health

... supersedes all other English editions in every subject. --Carol Harrison, University of Durham

These translations make Augustine's thought accessible to non-specialists, they are an inspirational resource. --Margaret R. Miles, Harvard University

... supersedes all other English editions in every subject. --Carol Harrison, University of Durham

These translations make Augustine's thought accessible to non-specialists, they are an inspirational resource. --Margaret R. Miles, Harvard University --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

an opportunity to observe in action one of the foremost ancient students of the Bible using both Testaments to reflect on the doctrine of the Trinity. Philosophy and theology always with a close reliance on the Bible and a rootedness in God blend into a single enterprise

Customer Reviews

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St. Augustine wrote well of the Trinity.
Daffy Duck
For fans of Augustine, for students of theology, and any other serious thinker interested in the Christian tradition, I highly recommend.
Brother Mark
He has done a wonderful job making this work accessible.
Robert L. Cerefice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Simmons on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Trinitarian theology is a difficult subject. Scriptural references are few and their meaning is not obvious - indeed, they can easily be read as contradictory. In fact, there is no explicit description of the Trinity in the scriptures at all - the orthodox view of the Trinity (three persons in one God) is an inferential conclusion from scripture that took generations to piece together. Having arrived at that conclusion, the next problem was to understand exactly what it meant - a problem difficult enough that many argued that it was simply a mystery the answer to which we might know in the next life but not this.
This famously difficult problem is the subject of Augustine's "The Trinity". In addressing it, he has two motives. His first motive is to combat non-Trinitarian heresy by showing the scriptural support for the concept and by showing that it is not inherently contradictory. His second motive is to attempt to understand the Trinity more deeply, to satisfy the scriptural directive to "seek His face evermore".
"The Trinity" is a long book, the second longest work in the Augustinian corpus, and one that he worked on, intermittently, for sixteen years. He might not have finished it had not the unauthorized publication of the first twelve "books", led him to write the final three in order to avoid having the work available only in an incomplete form.
"The Trinity" begins with a consideration of the Scriptural references to the Trinity, with the aim of reconciling them and explaining them through the supposition of three equal persons in one God. Augustine is at particular pains to maintain the equality of the persons: that the Son is equal to the Father, and the Holy Spirit equal to both.
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful By forehandshanker on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is much discussion in contemporary theology about the Trinity (e.g. Moltmann, LaCugna, Gunton, Pannenberg, Rahner, Barth). In order to appreciate the discussion intelligently, you ought to go back to the source of the Western model of the Trinity. One of Augustine's analogies for the Trinity is the Father the Lover, the Son the Beloved, and the Spirit as the Love. Quite a few theologians are critical of Augustine's emphasis on the unity of the Triune God (e.g. Moltmann, Pannenberg, LaCugna). It is worth reading this work just to put their work in perspective.
This work is more than just an exposition of theology. Augustine has a long discussion of perception (memory, understanding and will), because he needs to give an account for how human seeing can fulfill its supernatural vocation to see God. Some of his discussion anticipates some of the concerns of the Enlightenment. E.g. if the representation I recall in my mind is from my memory, but is also shaped by my will, how do I know I have an accurate representation of reality?
Another reason to get this work is that any attempt to tackle the Trinity ends up by a mini-systematics. In a fairly short space, a close read of the work will pay a mountain of dividends.
In particular, Edmund Hill did an invaluable job editing and translating the work. The introductory notes, the endnotes, and the essays scattered throughout the work are worth the price of the book itself. I have gotten a lot more out of the work because of Hill's commentary (and they are not overly intrusive). Some of Hill's translations are a little bit too colloquial for my taste, but he wanted to write a dynamic translation. If you want a literal translation of this work, you can like in other places.
All in all, this is one of the all-time classics in Christian theology.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Greg on March 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
St Augustine was, before Aquinas, the most subtle and brilliant intellect in the Western Church. While Augustine's influence has sometimes been debated and even criticised, most recognise that he was both an outstanding theologian and a highly original philosopher.

The Trinity is one of the works of the later period of Augustine's life, after he had been consecrated as Bishop of Hippo. During this period Augustine spent most of his time and energy on pastoral and theological issues, including deep theological reflection on the scriptures and theology.

The Trinity is Augustine's attempt to plumb the mystery of God, as revealed to Christians as the triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It contains some fifteen or so books in which Augustine attempts to develop a systematic theology of the Triune God based around scripture, as well as outlining a theological anthropology which discusses how the image of God exists in human beings, and how the economy of salvation is effected through Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross and through the free acceptance of God's gift of salvation by the process of baptism and incorporation into the body of Christ, the Church.

Augustine's text contains many profound and interesting theological insights which in themselves would become articles of dogma. Unfortunately, this tends to misrepresent Augustine, who was a very curious and inquiring thinker, who desired to understand God as much as was humanly possible.

This book will be of most interest to theologians, but it will also interest philosophers and students of comparative religion, as well as those interested in Christian spirituality.
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