Symposium on the Triune God – Resources

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Additional resources will be added as they become available.

  1. Resources for personal reading on the Trinity (bibliography) Updated 3.17.2020
  2. Images of the Trinity by Sister Ines Camiran, SSND
  3. The Development of the Trinitarian Doctrine, a video series presented by Sister Sandra Ann Weinke, SSND
    Parts 1 & 2
    Parts 3 & 4
    Study Guide
  4. Theological Reflection resources on the Gerhardinger intranet (password required)

BOOKMARKS – highlights and notes on resources for personal reading

April 2020

Haught, John F. What is God: How to Think About the Divine, (New York, NY. Paulist Press, 1986)

As a resource for the Symposium on the Trinity, this book is invaluable. It does not treat the Trinity itself, but is a perfect foundation for understanding how we come to a notion of God in the first place. Instead of asking Who Is God? and getting tangled in the problem of ‘persons’ and ‘personhood’ in God, the ‘what’ question leads the reader to deeper insights into the nature of the divine.

Underlying our human quest for ‘depth’, ‘future’, ‘freedom’, ‘beauty’, and ‘truth’, is the mystery of the divine for which we long. These are the chapters in Haught’s book.

This book will forever change the way that you think about God, and I cannot recommend it enough.

THINK ON THIS: The unavailability of the divine creates a longing for God that is never fully quenched. Haught says: God’s absence may be considered essential for the sake of nearness….The divine must withhold presence precisely in order to bestow INTIMACY.

March 2020

Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator. Theology Brewed in an African Pot, (New York: Maryknoll, Orbis Books, 2008.)

Among other topics such as God, trinity, creation, grace and sin, Jesus Christ, Church, Mary and saints, as well as inculturation and spirituality, the author highlights the differences between an African view (denotes sub-Saharan Africa) of religion and a more Eurocentric one. An “eye opener” to those who want to understand the developing contours of Christian faith in the rapidly growing African Church, he invites us to “taste and see” the richness and theology “brewed in an African pot.” I appreciate his simplified understanding of Trinity drawn from familiar African and feminine experiences (pp. 26-34). Currently, the author teaches Theology and Religious Studies at Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology and Institute of Peace Studies in Nairobi, Kenya and is President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar. 

Power, David and Downey, Michael. Living the Justice of the Triune God. (Collegeville, MN. Liturgical Press, 2012)

In Living the Justice of the Triune God, David N. Power, OMI and Michael Downey make clear to contemporary believers why a spiritual and sacramental life that is ordered by its trinitarian orientation must include the desire for justice. In short, it is an ethic of social justice that springs from contemplation of the Divine Trinity in the world. In Chapter 5, Eucharist, Trinity and Justice, they make the connection between Eucharist, Trinity and All Creation, essential elements of SSND spirituality.

“In the act of receiving the gifts of the Body and Blood, there is signified and includes the mutual service of the congregation to one another, in the true spirit of discipleship which is mandated in the Johannine account of the washing of the feet as the proper access to the table of Christ. It is in this typical ecclesial communion that the work of the Trinity is perfected, and it is around and from this table that the naming of God occurs.” (pp. 132-133)

Delio, Ilia. The Unbearable Wholeness of Being

“If God is at the heart of this physical, evolving cosmos, then love is the energy that makes everything precious and alive.  God is the ultimate wholeness and depth  of love, the inner Omega of everything from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy…  Every created being is held in being by the breath of divine love whose infinite depth exceeds the capacity of any finite being to contain it; hence, every being stretches toward its own self-expression, its longing to love as it is loved, reaching out toward more being and more life.”

This dynamic personal relatedness of infinite love means that creation is not a mere external act of God, an object on the fringe of divine power; rather it emerges out of the innermost depths of Trinitarian life.  Evolution is the process by which Trinity becomes cosmos, and cosmos becomes christified; that is love unto love becomes more personal and unitive.  The drama of creation is the drama of Trinitarian life. (pp. 69-70)


February 2020

Boff, Leonardo. Holy Trinity: Perfect Community

“It is not a matter of removing the veil from the mystery of God, but rather of grasping the divine movement so that we may better experience the presence and activity of the Blessed Trinity in the world and in our personal journey.”  (p. 47)

I found this book to be an easy read and very inspiring.  It also has a great appendix of definitions regarding the Trinity in the back of the book.

Hunt, Anne. The Trinity: Insights for the Mystics (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010)

Anne Hunt offers us a rich look at eight mystics, particularly women mystics, who provide us with profound insights into our Christian trinitarian faith. By examining the life and works of these mystics, Hunt gives us a means to deepen our own trinitarian faith in ways that go beyond many of the philosophical and theological issues that surround the explication of the doctrine of the Trinity. Currently, Anne Hunt is Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Australia, and she is an accomplished Catholic theologian who has written extensively on trinitarian theology.

de Chardin, Teilhard. The Divine Milieu (Harper and Row, 1960)

Teilhard de Chardin dedicates his book, The Divine Milieu to “those who love the world.”   While this book is not noted for its explicit references to the Trinity, the title and the dedication are themselves a reflection on the Triune God whose presence and activity are experienced in the world. His book proposes, “a way to see” and a “practical attitude” (p. 46) to see God everywhere as we contemplate the universe. His belief is that as we fall in love with the universe, we fall in love with God. “God truly waits for us in things, unless indeed [God] advances to meet us there.” (p. 47)

To be fully human and fully Christian, we must grow in our awareness of the influence of the cosmos: “’we live at the centre of the network of cosmic influences as we lie at the heart of the human crown or among the myriads of stars, but without alas, being aware of their immensity.” (p. 58)

Our human work and endeavors, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, draw the universe toward its wholeness and completion in Christ. In this, we are drawn into the unity of God’s creative power.

God is the universal milieu because all realities come together in God. The essence of everything is “the radiance of the focus of the universe” (p.114). Though the divine milieu appears vast, it is essentially a center where absolute and final power is to unite and to complete all things within itself.

January 2020

Johnson, Elizabeth A. Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God (New York, NY. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2007)

In her book, “Quest for the Living God,” Elizabeth Johnson shares multiple images of the Triune God from non-personal imagery, personal, and some a combination. Pages 219-221 are full of possible images for reflection. I was struck by Anthony Kelly’s expression of the Triune God as Being-in-Love. This Being-in-Love as a giver, a gift, a giving.

  • How do I ponder this gift becoming incarnate in my life, in our world, in the universe?
  • Am I open to receive this gift?
  • How can I share love as giver, gift, and a giving?

May our Triune God draw you into this incomprehensible mystery of love!