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God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life [Paperback]

By Catherine M. Lacugna (Author)
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Item description for God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life by Catherine M. Lacugna...

Now in paperback: "A brilliant historical and theological analysis that restores the Doctrine of the Trinity to the heart of Christian life" (Anne Carr). "In the present revival of Trinitarian theology, this book makes a major contribution: clear, systematic, and original".--David Tracey.

Publishers Description

An extraordinary work that revitalizes theology and Christian life by recovering the early roots of Trinitarian doctrine and exploring the enduringly practical dimensions of faith in God as a community of persons.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   434
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.36" Width: 6.16" Height: 1.17"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 11, 1993
Publisher   HarperOne
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0060649135  
ISBN13  9780060649135  
UPC  099455020008  

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More About Catherine M. Lacugna

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Catherine Mowry LaCugna is professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and is the author of "God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life?

A discussion of Trinitarian Beliefs and their conflicts through time.   Aug 20, 2005
In a time when we do not hear much about The Trinity, this book opens up the complex arguments which have historically occurred on this subject. Her background is obviously Roman Catholic, but her viewpoint is convincingly objective. If you do not have a theological background in this subject matter, you will receive one reading this book.
A Critical Review of LaCugna's God for Us  Jul 16, 2004
Reading LaCugna's God for Us is like looking at a wreck on the side of the freeway. You know you shouldn't, but you can't help yourself so you continue to stare in morbid fascination and feel awful afterwards.

Despite the praise lavished on this book by theologians who ought to - and, in most cases, undoubtedly do - know better, this is perhaps the worst recent book written on the Trinity. Despite its pretense of scholarship and its copious use of obfuscatory theological jargon (a technique pioneered by Rahner and Schilebeecx, who knew that an honest, straightforward statement of their views would result in their books being placed on the Index) the basic teachings of God for Us are clearly incompatible with the dogmatic understanding of the Trinity as taught in the Ecumenical Councils and as articulated in the mainstream of Roman Catholic theological orthodoxy.

This does not bother LaCugna, who regards this tradition, rooted in Augustine's "one substance" theory of the Godhead (which she rejects), as having led to the "defeat" of the doctrine of the Trinity. In particular, she rejects the distinction between the immanent Trinity, constituted by internal relations within the Godhead, and the economic Trinity, which is the Trinity in its joint actions of creating, redeeming and sanctifying the world. LaCugna's feminist ideology dictates that this distinction be rejected, so that God is neither a substance nor has any sort of "nature" that the persons might share in common. To the contrary, LaCugna's God is literally "God for us" - the whole reality of God is exhausted in his activities in regard to creation, especially in relation to human beings.

This view, if taken seriously, annuls the transcedence of God, makes God a creator by necessity, makes God dependent on His creation and, as such, puts God in no position to make any demands on us in return. Instead, LaCugna's God can do little more than smile indulgently, always give us our own way and then take responsibility for whatever havoc that causes. Daddy loves us and will fix everything, with at most mild chiding. In other words, LaCugna's God is the perfect cut-down God for liberal Catholic feminists - and spoiled children everywhere.

I could go on to say that LaCugna's views are heretical, but they are too silly and metaphysically incoherent to rise to the level of seriousness that merits that appelation. The book carries no imprimatur or nihil obstat; contemporary Catholic theologians no longer seem to need or want these guarantees of orthodoxy. However, those who do care about such matters deserve to be informed that there is no guarantee that anything that LaCugna writes in God for Us reflects the magisterium of the Church. God for Us is a book that is best ignored rather than refuted, however; the effort is not worth the payoff. It is much more profitable to read the works of e.g., Gerald O'Collins, S.J., which take a much more mainstream view of the Trinity and Incarnation despite having conciliatory things to say about LaCugna's work. He also takes pains to explore and explain the spiritual dimensions of the doctrine and its relevance for modern life, something that LaCugna claims it cannot have.

In conclusion, don't buy and don't read God for Us unless your morbid curiosity exceeds all bounds of reason and propriety or you need some easily-critiqued primary source to serve as the grist for a doctoral dissertation.

(The foregoing should be sufficient to dispel the contention that this site only prints favorable reviews. The author of this review received no compensation for his work and is happy to make its contents available as a public service out of the goodness of his heart. Enjoy!)

Best book on Trinity  Aug 5, 2000
The Trinity is one of the most challenging and most neglected doctrines in the Church. Lacugna makes learning about the doctrine A VERY REWARDING EXPERIENCE.

She summarizes the development of the doctrine from the first century to today. Her intent, however, is to argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is not an explanation of a God who is somewhere "out there" in eternity, but rather an explanation of the community of a God who is present and inviting us into community. She supports her position well, drawing from the ancients and contemporary Orthodox and Catholic theologians.

The subject matter of the book is very challenging. It will take most people awhile to get through the material. But each page is a pearl and the reward for reading it is great.

I encourage anybody with an interest in the doctrine of the Trinity to prioritize reading this book.

Refreshing integrity.  Feb 17, 2000
The maze of philosophical thought through which the anti-Nicene Fathers traveled, and through which the leaders of the Church traveled following Nicea and Chalcedon, are very difficult to trace. However, Catherine Lacugna has been of great assistance to me in the effort to understand them.
Challenging, but rewarding  Nov 25, 1999
This book is quite challenging, intellectually, but worth the effort. Be aware of her bias: her position is that the devlopment of Trinitarian theology lost its way after the 4th century Cappadocians! As a result, she asserts, the doctrine lost its relevance. It has become only a source for academic speculation, detached from "real life." LaCugna wants to "rescue" the Trinity from that irrelevance. In the book, she effectively reformulates the doctrine as a source of theological nourishment for the church today. The doctrine only has value, according to LaCugna, if it describes our experience of how God comes to us, offering salvation. In that context, LaCugna does an excellent job of summarizing the historical background to the doctrine of the Trinity, and of connecting the doctrine to the Christian life.

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