The early part of this book is concerned with what it is in human existence that is addressed by the message of hope in the Scriptures. The final four chapters present that divine promise for human destiny and the understanding of it as it is reflected on in contemporary theology. Although directed mainly to advanced students of theology, this book discusses issues which are of interest to many believers today whose knowledge about matters of religion has not kept pace with their knowledge of the secular disciplines.
Something quite extraordinary has happened in Catholic trinitarian theology in the last thirty years or so: the mystery of the Trinity is being approached by reflection on the paschal mystery of Jesus' death and resurrection. Astonishing though it may seem, the traditional Augustinian-Thomistic treatment of the trinity made no such direct reference to those Easter events, even though it was through them that Jesus' disciples came to proclaim that Jesus is Lord and that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The redemptive significance of Jesus' death and resurrection was clearly recognized, but not its revelatory significance. But here, in a radically new development, the death and resurrection of Jesus is perceived to have properly "theological" meaning; it is not just redemptive but revelatory of God's being. A startling revitalized trinitarian theology emerges. "So what does this development contribute to trinitarian theology?" And "Why has this extraordinary development arisen at this stage in the tradition?" The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery answers these questions and examines and assesses this new development in relation to the classical tradition of trinitarian theology and offers a meta-methodological perspective from which to understand it. One of the few theologians who have pursued this innovative line of thought, Anne Hunt in The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery analyzes the works of four contemporary theologians. François Durrwell, CSSR, Ghislain Lafont, OSB, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Sebastian Moore, OSB, have all written on this interconnection of the mysteries. Each expressed dissatisfaction with classical Latin trinitarian theology and sought a fuller, richer, and more adequate explication of the mystery. A vividly revitalized theology of the Trinity results, one that is constructed in a distinctly soteriological context. But the trinitarian theology which emerges is not only a soteriology. The triune God emerges with a distinctively "paschal character" when approached in this way and this profoundly affects an understanding of the divine perfections. Both aspects represent significant gains in the contemporary cultural and theological context. The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery is not only significant on a systematic and methodological level, it is also timely. Recent trinitarian theologies (e.g., LaCugna, Johnson, Boff, Weinandy, Coffey) do not deal with the Trinity-paschal mystery connection. Orthodox theology has very little to say about it. Protestant theology has difficulty relating to the classical Roman Catholic tradition. From all these points of view, The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery provides this perspective and so is a valuable and thought-provoking resource that complements and enriches current theologies of the Trinity. As a text for college or graduate student courses, as a scholarship reference, and as a guide for interested educated laity, The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery is an exhilarating and invigorating journey into that most central of the Christian mysteries, our triune God. Chapters are: "François X. Durrwell: The Resurrection Rediscovered," "Ghislain Lafont: Death and Being, Human and Divine," "Hans Urs von Balthasar: Love Alone Is Credible," "Sebastian Moore: The Grass Roots Derivation of the Trinity," "Thematic Gains for Trinitarian Theology," and "Methodological Shifts and Their Meta-Methodological Significance." Anne Hunt is principal at Loreto Mandeville Hall, a Catholic girls' school in Melbourne, Australia. She received a doctorate in systematic theology at Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne.
In view of the critical environmental problems confronting the modern world, reflection on the nature and meaning of the world and on humanity's place in it becomes increasingly important. While Christian theology has done this for centuries, the present situation calls for a serious rethinking of many issues in the light of contemporary physics, biology, and cultural history. The Gift of Being presents insights of the sciences in a way that is helpful for Christians today. Creation theology helps believers come to a stronger sense of their own identity as they come to an awareness of the world. This enables them to gain a deeper insight into how they ought to relate to that world if they wish to find meaning in their lives. This state of being requires a willingness to distinguish between the medium and the message in approaching the Scriptures. It also requires a willingness to take the sciences seriously. In The Gift of Being, Hayes focuses on traditional questions of creation, but also comments on where science is with creation, anthropology, and destiny. He begins by discussing the relation between faith and reason, and hence between theology and science, from a historical perspective, moving to the most current statements of modern Popes. He follows with a summary statement of the possible retrieval of the biblical religious insights that can be distinguished from the physical worldview that stands behind much of the biblical material. This allows for a discussion of the traditional concept of creation from nothing in the form of a conversation with contemporary physics. He then discusses the Christian idea of God as the primal mystery of creative love from whom all of creation flows. With these foundational ideas in place, Hayes looks at such questions as the origin of humanity and the failure of humanity throughout history. He then focuses on the tradition of cosmic Christology. Finally, the theological issues of the final outcome of God's creation and its history is discussed against the background of the current scientific projections of a future for the cosmos. Chapters are "Science, the Bible, and Christianity," "The Vision of the Hebrew Scriptures," "Creation and the Christian Scriptures," "Creation from Nothing," "The Triune God, the Creator," "Humanity in the Cosmic Context," "Sin and Evil," "Christ and the Cosmos," and "Creation and the Future." Zachary Hayes, OFM, PhD, is professor of systematic theology at Catholic Theological Union. He has taught and written extensively on matters related to the theological understanding of creation and the relation between theology and science. He is on the staff of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. He is the author of Visions of a Future: A Study of Christian Eschatology from the New Theology Studies series published by The Liturgical Press.
As a text for a basic Christology course this work orients the student of theology by tracing the principal developments in the New Testament and in later Church tradition, giving attention to some of the principal concerns of contemporary culture and the way some of the present-day forms of Christology try to respond to those concerns. It therefore offers a range of contemporary Christological proposals rather than one to the exclusion of others. It also seeks to reunite study of Christ's "person" with his "work" through greater attention to soteriology than often happens in traditional Christology.