- Paperback: 276 pages
- Publisher: Fortress Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 080062825X
- ISBN-13: 978-0800628253
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Trinity and the Kingdom Paperback – September 1, 1993
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
'Emphasizes the centrality of Trinitarian doctrine in all the mysteries of Christ in a way that is both profoundly traditional and sensitive to modern questions.' - George E. Tavard, Commonweal
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Top Customer Reviews
it deals with high theology in a constant dialogue with the anthropology rooted in our daily experience. But above any other evaluation or positive point I could surely add, let me just point out the fundamental theological and psychological core of all the book: starting from the biblical affirmation of 1 John, 4 that God is love, the author develops the concepts that everything God works is an expression of this covenant established between him and the whole creation, including the mankind. In the freedom granted to the human being God dies and rises with us, in the ontological affirmation of every action, even in our blasphemy and I dare to say that God in his full love enchains himself to us till the full communion. Nevertheless the very core of this theological book is the consequences that the author, Moltmann, pulls from the nature of God as love. Deciding to share his love, God accepts to share la suffering always connected with love, because of rejection, indifference, treachery. This new vision about God reverses completely the concept of God as a judge, as a chasing divinity waiting for our fall in order to chastise and eventually presents a God who out of love and fidelity dies with Christ on the cross, killed by the hatred of the religious law and the political power.
It is a book of course for religious ministers, theologians and philosophers or general people searching for a beyond of the logic.I would recommend such a book to people, which according to Zigmunt Baumann try to overwhelm the liquid society for an identity of novelty and fullness.
Ironically, his discussion on the Trinity in church history is quite good (the irony is that he largely rejects or modifies these formulations). I really like how he identifies the "kingdom" with "the kingdom of the Father." We approach God first as Father, not first as Lord or Creator. If God is seen primarily as "Lord" or "Creator," and we accept the premise that God is eternal, then God is thus eternally Lord or Creator. This means he must be Lord and Creator over something or someone. Ergo, Origen's heresy.
Unfortunately, J.M. completely negates that crucial point at the end of the book in his chapter on political monotheism. By that phrase he means any system that reduces God to "the One." Aside from bad terminology, J.M. actually has a point. He gives a decent critique of Islam and some forms of medieval Trinitarianism. (Ironically it also functions as a critique of Judaism, but since J.M. is a Zionist, he doesn't apply the critique). His real enemy, though, is patriarchy. J.M. rejects the idea that someone can have any form of priority over someone else (unless, presumably, it is women over men. No doubt that is acceptable). His proposal is some form of democractic egalitarianism in the Trinity.
In response to this, though, we must ask how his above argument does not contradict both the definition of Fatherhood and his earlier argument for the Kingdom of the Father? By anyone's definition Father means the cause (at least on some level) of the Son (of course, I don't mean cause in a temporal fashion; just logical).
He has a good take on the Filioque (though, it should be strongly noted, J.M. rejects any form of Eastern Orthodox Trinitarianism; see his earlier reticence about Father and "cause"). He notes that positing the Son as a co-cause of the Spirit alongside the Father mutes the hypostatic characteristics of both Father and Son. Likewise, positing the Son as a separate cause is polytheism. J.M. argues, therefore, that the Spirit proceeds from the Father of the Son and even from the aesthetic form of the Son (admittedly, it's difficult to know what he means by that last phrase).
This book is important in one respect: it signaled the birth of the "social Trinitarian" movement. One suspects, though, that J.M.'s version of social trinitarianism is actually fueled by an agenda for radical egalitarianism.
What makes The Trinity and the Kingdom especially interesting is how Moltmann wrestles to explain how it is that God is essentially loving. He acknowledges the truth of what many other love theorists have claimed: "love cannot be consummated by a solitary subject. An individuality cannot communicate itself: individuality is ineffable, unutterable" (57). This implies, says Moltmann, that "if God is love, then he neither will, nor can, be without the one who is his beloved" (58).
Furthermore, because love relations imply some degree of need, God cannot be, in all ways, self-sufficient: "If God is love, then he does not merely emanate, flow out of himself; he also expects and needs love" (99). Using "suffering" in its classical sense, which means to be affected by another, Moltmann argues that, "if God were incapable of suffering in every respect, then he would also be incapable of love" (23).
The answer to many issues pertaining to divine love can be found when examining relations within Trinity. God "is at once the lover, the beloved, and the love itself" (57). This intraTrinitarian love is illustrated by the fact that, "in eternity and out of the very necessity of his being, the Father loves the only begotten Son. . . . In eternity and out of the very necessity of his being, the Son responds to the Father's love through his obedience and his surrender to the Father" (58). Three notions together - divine persons, divine relations, and change in divine relations -- provide the basis for conceiving of intraTrinitarian love. Because love has everlastingly been expressed through intraTrinitarian relations, love can be considered an essential attribute of God.
Moltmann entertains several hypotheses in The Trinity and the Kingdom for conceiving the correlation between the creation of the world and the Trinity. Sometimes he speaks of God creating from chaos; other times of God creating from nothing. He even places these apparently contradictory notions alongside each other; he speaks of divine creating as "creation out of chaos and creatio ex nihilo" (109). He claims that "creation [is] God's act in Nothingness and . . . God's order in chaos" (109). However, the evidence from his statements about God's love for the world being voluntary while the love between the Father and Son is necessary leads one to conclude that Moltmann ultimately affirms creatio ex nihilo, rather than creation from chaos.
The creation hypothesis Moltmann proposes most vigorously, however, is based soundly upon intraTrinitarian suppositions: "If we proceed from the inner-trinitarian relationships of the Persons in the Trinity, then it becomes clear that the Father creates the one who is his Other by virtue of his love for the Son" (112). Because of this desire to communicate to nondivine individuals, it was through the eternal Son/Logos [that] the Father creates the world. In fact, "the idea of the world is inherent in the nature of God himself from eternity" (106). This means that "the idea of the world is already inherent in the Father's love of the Son" (108). Because God creates the world in his love for the Son and creates through the Son, the Son "is the divinely immanent archetype of the idea of the world" (112). The solution to how God and the world are related, then, is to suppose that the idea of the world has been eternally present to deity in the Son.
Moltmann has been at the fore in suggesting that kenosis, as God's self-emptying love, should be seen as the clue to God's loving creation and interaction with the world. "The divine kenosis which begins with the creation of the world reaches its perfected and completed form in the incarnation of the son" (118). This self-emptying kenosis provides the key for understanding how God can be, in essence, wholly omnipotent and yet completely loving. God, in free self-sacrifice, gives up power, knowledge, and presence to allow space for creatures to be.
Thomas Jay Oord