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.