The Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith. What can we say about the divine nature, and what does it mean to say that God is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, three persons who are one in being? In this book, best selling author Thomas Joseph White, OP, examines the development of early Christian reflection on the Trinity, arguing that essential contributions of Patristic theology are preserved and expanded in the thought of Thomas Aquinas.
By focusing on Aquinas’ theology of the divine nature as well as his treatment of divine personhood, White explores in depth the mystery of Trinitarian monotheism. The Trinity: On the Nature and Mystery of the One God also engages with influential proposals of modern theologians on major topics such as Trinitarian creation, Incarnation and crucifixion, and presents creative engagements with these topics. Ultimately any theology of the cross is also a theology of the Trinity, and this book seeks to illustrate how the human life, death, and resurrection of Jesus reveal the inner life of God as Trinity.
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“Ask Christians about the Trinity and all too often they respond with ‘It’s a great mystery’ and change the subject! Thomas Joseph White was never one to evade such a challenge, and here he systematically investigates the central mystery of our faith. Just as a person we love is a mystery so deep we can never exhaust who they are and endlessly discover new depths, so ‘Thomas Joseph’ demonstrates that getting to know the Triune God is endlessly fascinating, meaningful, life-changing. To embrace this mystery is to discover the Absolute is personal, the Totally Other is totally for-us. Fr Thomas Joseph faithfully mines two millennia of human contact with the Trinity in Scripture, the Fathers, but especially in the greatest theological master, St Thomas Aquinas. He explains, defends and creatively extends the master’s insights. At the end of this great read you’ll know God better and love God more!”
Anthony Fisher, OP
Archbishop of Sydney
“It is a massive project to present a biblically and patristically grounded Thomistic analysis of both the De Deo Uno and the immanent and economic Trinity, engaging with modern theologies and their philosophical underpinnings, in order to argue for how these often seen as separate treatise are interrelated. One not only needs a lengthy manuscript as this one but more importantly a thorough knowledge of the biblical and patristic information, a profound access to Thomas’ works and a masterful control of the main modern theologians. Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP, has succeeded in giving all this to the reader. Truly a unique achievement.”
Major Seminary, Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Fr. Thomas Joseph White is a master of theology sensu eminenti, and this book is a master course on the Trinity from a Thomistic standpoint. What makes it especially valuable, however, is not just how well it serves as a historical and systematic introduction to Trinitarian theology before Thomas―from the biblical witness to the Cappadocians and Augustine to the Fourth Lateran Council―but that it puts Thomas in direct conversation with modern Trinitarian theology (Bulgakov, Balthasar, Moltmann, and others). The result is an impressive renewal of Thomism and a novel restatement―emphasizing the analogy of divine and human natures in Christ―of Thomas’s relevance to contemporary Trinitarian theology.”
University of Notre Dame
Thomas Joseph White, OP, is the Rector of the Angelicum at Rome, and author of The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism and The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology.
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