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Energies of the Spirit: Trinitarian models in Eastern orthodox and Western Theology

Reid, Duncan (1997) Energies of the Spirit: Trinitarian models in Eastern orthodox and Western Theology. Scholars Press, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 1pp. ISBN 0-7885-0344-8/ 0-7885-0345-6

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Western theology emphasizes that God, as God is in Godself, is none other than God as he is experienced in his activities ad extra. An axiomatic identity is postulated between the inner and the economic Trinity (a se and pro nobis). Eastern Orthodox theology distinguishes between God in Godself (the essence or ‘super-essence’ of God), and God as we experience him in his activities (the energies of God). These two tendencies are named, respectively, the identity principle and the difference principle (or the doctrine of energies) in this work, with the attempt being made to bring them into dialogue with one another. In the first chapter, each of the two tendencies is contextualized within its own history of doctrine. The second chapter surveys both the identity principle and the doctrine of energies as they appear in the theologies of the 20th century, especially Karl Barth and Karl Rahner on the one hand and Georges Florovsky and Vladimir Lossky on the other. These are then discussed in relation to the doctrines of the Trinity and the concepts of creation and new creation. In the third chapter a number of critical questions in both tendencies are raised and discussed. In the conclusion, it is argued that both tendencies are coherent in themselves, but reflect differing historical and theological conditions in East and West. Although the two tendencies appear to be mutually exclusive, a fundamental common intention is discernable. The doctrine of energies offers certain practical advantages, and so the outlines of a possible ecumenical doctrine of energies is sketched.
The book thus examines 20th century theological commentators on the doctrine of energies. Counter to existing trends in western theology, a positive evaluation of this doctrine is given and common ground is sought between the eastern idea of essence and energies and the western identification of the inner and economic Trinity. Though written from a clearly western perspective, the book argues for the coherence of the eastern position, and that underlying both eastern and western positions is a common intention to say that our encounter with God is real, and that the primary ontological distinction is between God and creation.

Item Type: Books / Monographs
Additional Information: This book is an edited version of a dissertation, originally submitted in German under the title ‘Die Lehre von den ungeschaffenen Energien: Ihre Bedeutung für die ökumenische Theologie’, and accepted by the University of Tübingen in the Federal Republic of Germany, in 1991. The book begins with a Foreword by Prof. Jürgen Moltmann.
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: Barth, Ecumenism, Energies, Florovsky, Lossky, Rahner, Trinity.
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: D - Ecumenical Studies
C - Systematic Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rev Dr Duncan Reid
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 23:20
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2015 04:10
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1282

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