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Liturgical Press

God as Communion

John Zizioulas, Elizabeth Johnson, and the Retrieval of the Symbol of the Triune God

Patricia A. Fox, RSM

God as Communion
God as Communion

ISBN: 9780814650820, 5082

Details: 280 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 04/01/2001

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God as Communion explores ancient and new meanings of the symbol of God as Trinity and brings the Christian traditions of West and East into dialogue. Through an exploration of the works of two contemporary theologians, John Zizioulas and Elizabeth Johnson, Patricia Fox retrieves this central Christian symbol and uncovers its transforming power for the Church and world today.

God as Communion shows how both Zizioulas and Johnson, from their very different theological traditions and starting points, provide a rich understanding of the symbol of the Triune God. Fox proposes we reclaim that doctrine of the Trinity as an eminently practical doctrine that challenges Christians and the Christian Churches to transforming changes in this new century.

Part one examines the trinitarian theology of John Zizioulas, which focuses on the formative and seminal period of the first centuries of Christianity. Part two examines Elizabeth Johnson's exploration of the mystery of the triune God in feminist theological discourse. Part three brings the trinitarian theologies of John Zizioulas and Elizabeth Johnson into a mutually critical correlation. Fox concludes that the respective theologies of Zizioulas and Johnson together provide a rich resource for the retrieval of this ancient Christian symbol.

Chapters under Part One: The Trinitarian Theology of John Zizioulas are "The Trinitarian God—Persons in Communion," "God and Creation," and "The Church as Communion." Chapters under Part Two: The Trinitarian Theology of Elizabeth Johnson are "Renaming the Trinitarian God," "SHE WHO IS: The Being of God and Suffering," and "Reclaiming the Creator Spirit, Women and Earth." Chapters under Part Three: Towards a Retrieval of the Symbol of the Triune God are "Zizioulas, Johnson and the Retrieval of the Trinity," "Pneumatology and Christology in Mutual Relation," "Foundations for Trinitarian Theology: Persons, Naming, Structure," "Trinitarian Theology in Practice: The Issues of Suffering and the Ecological Crisis," and "Towards a Constructive Retrieval of the Symbol of the Triune God."

Patricia A. Fox, RSM, PhD, teaches Christian spirituality at the Adelaide College of Divinity at the theology school of Flinders University of South Australia and coordinates the Spirituality Office for the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.


This is a book for scholars, students, pastors, and all who are seeking a more viable theology of God in an ecological age. Beyond the skillful analysis of the thought of two of the foremost trinitarian scholars of our day—Elizabeth Johnson and John Zizioulas—Patricia Fox offers her own original contribution to a theology of God for the new millennium. Here is a trinitarian theology that weaves together the best of the Eastern and Western traditions, pastoral experience, ecological sensitivity, feminist insight, and liturgical commitment. God as Communion advances the kind of trinitarian vision that holds the power to transform Christian life and mission.
Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP, University of Notre Dame

This book draws upon two creative and authoritative thinkers of our time, deriving from apparently diverging traditions and theologies of the Christian tradition, in order to review synthetically and retrieve constructively an age-old symbol of perennial and ecumenical value.
John Chryssavgis, Holy Cross School of Theology, Boston

At the heart of this fine book is the passionate conviction that the Trinity is a liberating and practical doctrine. Patricia Fox crosses over the differences between East and West, feminist theology and classical tradition, Elizabeth Johnson and John Zizioulas, to bring to life a relational and ecological theology of God as Communion-in-Difference.
Denis Edwards, Flinders University