Item description for The Trinity and the Kingdom by Jurgen Moltmann, J. Rgen Moltmann & Margaret Kohl...
Overview Emphasizes the mysteries of the Godhead in a way that is both traditional and sensitive to modern questions,''---Commonweal.
Publishers Description "An excellent introduction to the prophets and the prophetic literature . . . The goal of the book is to understand the thought of the prophets in their historical contexts, and to communicate that understanding for our time. Its approach, while innovative, builds upon he best of contemporary analysis of the prophetic literature." --Gene M. Tucker Candler School of Theology Emory University "Koch's first volume on the prophets of ancient Israel displays his sound and creative scholarship and will fill a bibliographical gap.He displays the individuality of each prophet with perceptive insight, but he also compares and interrelates them in his various summaries. Furthermore, Koch relates his study of individual prophets to theological currents that have been flowing through the scholarly world in recent decades." --Bernhard W. Anderson Princeton Theological Seminary
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More About Jurgen Moltmann, J. Rgen Moltmann & Margaret Kohl
Jürgen Moltmann (born 8 April 1926) is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen. Moltmann is a major figure in modern theology and was the recipient of the 2000 University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and was also selected to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1984-1985. He has made significant contributions to a number of areas of Christian theology, including systematic theology, eschatology, ecclesiology, political theology, Christology, pneumatology, and the theology of creation.
Influenced heavily by Karl Barth's theology, Hegel's philosophy of history, and Ernst Bloch's philosophy of hope, Moltmann developed his own form of liberation theology predicated on the view that God suffers with humanity, while also promising humanity a better future through the hope of the Resurrection, which he has labelled a 'theology of hope'. Much of Moltmann's work has been to develop the implications of these ideas for various areas of theology. While much of Moltmann's early work was critiqued by some as being non-Trinitarian, during the latter stages of his career Moltmann has become known for developing a form of Social Trinitarianism. His two most famous works are Theology of Hope and The Crucified God.
Jurgen Moltmann has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Trinity and the Kingdom?
Difficult read but rewarding Dec 31, 2004
Through the course of Christianity, the theology of the Trinity has been problematic. Most lay Christians do not comprehend the Trinity, and theologians do not center their theologies on the Trinity. Moltmann writes this book in an attempt to refocus Christianity to the Trinity. He provides a thorough understanding of the inward relationships within the Trinity and the outward relationship of the Trinity to humanity. This theological understanding of the Trinity then can then be applied to contemporary settings. Structurally, Moltmann achieves this goal in six stages. First, he argues that new understandings of God must be achieved to correctly understand a triune-God. Second, God must have divine passion, must suffer, and must love. Third, from biblical history, Moltmann shows the relationship of each Person to the Others in the Trinity, both in history and eschatologically. Forth, the reciprocal relationship between the Trinity and humanity is seen in three stages: The creation of the Father, the incarnation of the Son, and the transfiguration of the Spirit. Fifth, Moltmann clears up past misconceptions of theologies of the Trinity, and elaborates on the doxological, economic, and immanent purposes of the Trinity. Sixth, Moltmann applies trinitarian principles to dismantle monarchy and monotheism, and shows the history of salvation from the kingdom of God to the kingdom of glory.
Moltmann's Kenotic Theology of the Trinity Aug 31, 2004
As one of the most influential theologians of the contemporary period, Jürgen Moltmann's works have influenced a variety of theologies of love. The Trinity and the Kingdom brings together many themes found in his other books (e.g., The Suffering God and God in Creation), including the notion that God truly suffers with creaturely pain and that God is present and active in the world.
What makes The Trinity and the Kingdom especially interesting is how Moltmann wrestles to explain how it is that God is essentially loving. He acknowledges the truth of what many other love theorists have claimed: "love cannot be consummated by a solitary subject. An individuality cannot communicate itself: individuality is ineffable, unutterable" (57). This implies, says Moltmann, that "if God is love, then he neither will, nor can, be without the one who is his beloved" (58).
Furthermore, because love relations imply some degree of need, God cannot be, in all ways, self-sufficient: "If God is love, then he does not merely emanate, flow out of himself; he also expects and needs love" (99). Using "suffering" in its classical sense, which means to be affected by another, Moltmann argues that, "if God were incapable of suffering in every respect, then he would also be incapable of love" (23).
The answer to many issues pertaining to divine love can be found when examining relations within Trinity. God "is at once the lover, the beloved, and the love itself" (57). This intraTrinitarian love is illustrated by the fact that, "in eternity and out of the very necessity of his being, the Father loves the only begotten Son. . . . In eternity and out of the very necessity of his being, the Son responds to the Father's love through his obedience and his surrender to the Father" (58). Three notions together - divine persons, divine relations, and change in divine relations -- provide the basis for conceiving of intraTrinitarian love. Because love has everlastingly been expressed through intraTrinitarian relations, love can be considered an essential attribute of God.
Moltmann entertains several hypotheses in The Trinity and the Kingdom for conceiving the correlation between the creation of the world and the Trinity. Sometimes he speaks of God creating from chaos; other times of God creating from nothing. He even places these apparently contradictory notions alongside each other; he speaks of divine creating as "creation out of chaos and creatio ex nihilo" (109). He claims that "creation [is] God's act in Nothingness and . . . God's order in chaos" (109). However, the evidence from his statements about God's love for the world being voluntary while the love between the Father and Son is necessary leads one to conclude that Moltmann ultimately affirms creatio ex nihilo, rather than creation from chaos.
The creation hypothesis Moltmann proposes most vigorously, however, is based soundly upon intraTrinitarian suppositions: "If we proceed from the inner-trinitarian relationships of the Persons in the Trinity, then it becomes clear that the Father creates the one who is his Other by virtue of his love for the Son" (112). Because of this desire to communicate to nondivine individuals, it was through the eternal Son/Logos [that] the Father creates the world. In fact, "the idea of the world is inherent in the nature of God himself from eternity" (106). This means that "the idea of the world is already inherent in the Father's love of the Son" (108). Because God creates the world in his love for the Son and creates through the Son, the Son "is the divinely immanent archetype of the idea of the world" (112). The solution to how God and the world are related, then, is to suppose that the idea of the world has been eternally present to deity in the Son.
Moltmann has been at the fore in suggesting that kenosis, as God's self-emptying love, should be seen as the clue to God's loving creation and interaction with the world. "The divine kenosis which begins with the creation of the world reaches its perfected and completed form in the incarnation of the son" (118). This self-emptying kenosis provides the key for understanding how God can be, in essence, wholly omnipotent and yet completely loving. God, in free self-sacrifice, gives up power, knowledge, and presence to allow space for creatures to be.
Thomas Jay Oord
Conquering Through Suffering Oct 18, 2000
In Trinity and the Kingdom, Moltmann develops the ideas of his earlier works, Theology of Hope (1965) and The Crucified God (1971), in a more systematic and theological manner (what Moltmann himself describes as "contributions" to a systematic theology). In the present work, Moltmann is chiefly concerned with the notion of power -- specifically, as this has been represented in the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the "kingdom of God." He criticizes the way Western cultures have normally used the term "kingdom of God" to butcher, enslave, or otherwise compel other peoples of the world to its own ends, and notes that this misuse of the kingdom has often been tied to a certain misunderstanding of God as single, solitary subject (absolute potentate) ruling over others as objects of his will. However, if one begins with the cross of Christ and defines God's power there -- that is, as the power of love, the power to change an enemy into a friend by "suffering with" the victim -- then we have not only a completely different image of power but of God as well. God at the foot of the cross is not a removed dictator (right-wing or left-wing), but a com-passionate being of love, who is not a single, solitary figure removed from the world, but exists IN relationship AS relationship (Father, Son, Spirit). Here we have a "relational being," who is open to the world and its suffering, and who invites the world into the divine circle of fellowship. God as "Social Trinity," therefore, forms the basis for a fundamentally new order (kingdom) on earth that is ruled by love and com-passion -- an egalitarian society of "brothers and sisters" that may be termed "assembly" or "church." This "society of equals" may or may not bear any resemblance to the ecclesiastical institution that normally goes by the name "church," but which oftentimes acts dictatorially (whether Roman Catholic, Protestant, or Southern Baptist!).
Whatever one's personal assessment might be of Moltmann's formulation of the Social Trinity, perichoretic unity, divine openness, etc., one must remember that at the heart of this sometimes dry, academic discussion there is always a political critique of monarchism (whether ecclesiastical or secular), which often masquerades under the banner of the "kingdom of God" and certain unchallenged assumptions regarding divine power and divine being. This is not merely an academic debate; correct doctrine in this case is literally a matter of life and death for those who suffer from all forms of monarchical "kingdom" theology today. If we still want to use the traditional terms, such as "kingdom," "power," or "conquest," then the theological baggage with which they have so long been encumbered must be stripped away, for God's sake and for the kingdom's sake.
Suffering in a Trinitarian context Oct 11, 2000
The doctrine of the Trinity is the most problematic aspect to Christian theology, and the one that causes the most division between Christianity and other world religions. These difficulties have inevitably led to a downplaying of its significance, especially in the West. Jürgen Moltmann, on the other hand, sees it as the central feature of Christianity, without which the rest falls. The casual reader may indeed find some parts of the resulting effort obtuse to the point of the bizarre, for example the subtle discussion of terms such as the 'procession' of the Spirit. And indeed, some may not find his resulting 'Social' model of the Trinity to their taste - 'government by committee' as it was described somewhere.
Nevertheless, this is a richly rewarding work, if only because it offers a generous vision of God far removed from the sterile view that so often passes off as the Christian divinity in everyday discourse. As Keith Ward in Turn of the Tide, remarked, what the actual Christian doctrine of God is must be one of the best-kept secrets of the modern world. The view Moltmann shows us of God is not of a distant and unmoved alien being watching impassively or imperiously from afar (like, say, the gods in the Illiad) but , drawing especially on the liberal early Greek tradition, is above all of a God of love. What this must mean forms what seemed to me the most impressive part of the book - the discussion of theodicy, the problem of evil and suffering.
Moltmann does not avoid the problem but confronts the all-pervasiveness of metaphysical evil head-on: without even in principle being able to 'solve' the problem (and who could 'solve' the problem of a dying child?), he points to a Trinitarian aspect: the Christian view of God is of one who suffers before and with the world. Quoting the Spanish poet and mystic Miguel de Unamuno, he declares that 'God envelops our anguish with His immeasurable anguish'. Through our own suffering, he argues, we can paradoxically come to pity the suffering of God, exemplified by the cross, where the true nature of God is revealed. And thus through suffering, humans come to a true appreciation of and participation in the inner life of the Trinity. Of course, Moltmann points out that this view would verge on the masochistic, if it were not for an eschatological dimension to this: the joyful transcendence over suffering exemplified by the risen Christ.
Whilst at times Moltmann seems simply to present than argue for doctrine here, the impact overall is profound and startling. Far from being a sterile and academic abstraction, the Trinity is convincingly displayed as a living vital part , not just of Christian doctrine, but of a system for reconciling the tragic and doomed aspirations of humans with their dignity in asserting their continuing self-worth. Anyone who thinks that the complexities of the modern world have outgrown the simplistic answers traditionally by religion should read this book for a forcefully different view.
An enchiridion to his messianic theology Sep 1, 2000
Professor Moltmann has the distinction of being one of the most popular Protestant academic theologians today. This book is the first of his "systematic contributions to theology (xii)." This book could be an enchiridion to his messianic theology. In many ways, his theological project tries to deal with the changing landscape due to the postmodern shift (The Way of Jesus Christ, xvi). As his counterpart, Wolfhart Pannenberg once said, "the doctrine of the Trinity is an anticipatory sum of the whole content of Christian dogmatics (Systematic Theology 1:335)." Inter alia Pannenberg, Moltmann seeks to develop a social doctrine of the Trinity, in contradistinction to the Latin model. The social doctrine of the Trinity makes as its epistemological starting point the three Persons and proceeds to the problem of one Substance, whereas the Latin model starts from the one Substance and derives three Persons. However, unlike Pannenberg, he veers close to tritheism, despite some of his nuances (Systematic Theology 1:335n217).
Here are Moltmann's fundamental premises. First, there is a degree of reciprocity between God and man. Schleiermacher asked "How do I experience God?" Moltmann then asks "How does God experience me?" In this way, the passion of God becomes a central theme of his theology. Second, he also subscribes to Rahner's rule, viz. the immanent Trinity is the economic Trinity, and vice versa. This is different from his mentor Barth, who agrees with the Augustinian distinction between the external works of the Trinity and the internal works. A lot of hermeneutical weight seems to rest on this one point. Third, creation is created by the self-limitation of God. He outlines briefly his zimsum doctrine. To put it crudely, God is like a donut who made a hole in himself, and then creation fills the empty space in God. There are three parts to creation, which correspond to the appropriations of each Person of the Trinity. There is original creation, creation's continuation, and the new creation. Creation has an eschatological movement forward, where it is headed toward its final destiny, viz. creation becoming the home of the Trinity . Finally, he thinks monarchial monotheism is a more dangerous problem for Christian theology than tritheism. This means that he gives logical priority to the love of God, over the lordship of God, since in God, freedom coincides with necessity.
For a critical appraisal, see Douglas Farrow's review of the entire Moltmann project in the journal, Modern Theology. For an appreciative overview, see Richard Bauckham's essay in The Modern Theologians.
There is much to like about Moltmann's proposals. Without question, he is an important conversation-partner in contemporary theology. He is pastor-friendly. He is more than just a textbook. He is stimulating and creative. He writes in an engaging fashion. His emphasis on synergy between God and man makes him accessible to those from the Wesleyan-holiness and Pentecostal-charismatic traditions. He also brings in the concerns of political theology, process theology and feminist theology. It is also easy to see how he has influenced Pinnock's openness of God (for evangelicals, this is a red-hot discussion). I appreciate his political theology, as an honest attempt to get away from the problems of monarchial repression. However, are his revisions of the doctrine of the Trinity necessary? While some of his readings of Barth can lead to the consequences he points out, at times I am left wondering about the hermeneutical adequacy of his reading of Barth.
I really wanted to be convinced by Moltmann. Pannenberg has a more rigorous treatment of the social Trinity, but at the cost of being less accessible. His zimsum doctrine of creation is highly speculative. His invective against monotheism can be strident. I am not so sure if he is fair to the Latin model of the Trinity. Having read Barth myself, I find the analogia Trinitatis seems to address the concerns of social Trinity, without sounding too tritheistic, and staying within the Latin model (CD III/2: ?). One also needs to take seriously the contributions of von Balthasar to trinitarian theology. Von Balthasar stays within the Latin model, but he is also sensitive to kenotic and mystical theology. His final phrasing of the filioque clause seems to collapse under its own weight (i.e. the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father of the Son, and receives his form from the Father and the Son). Also, his christology on the way seems too casual in its dismissal of the traditional two-natures doctrine.
Lastly, on an editorial level, it would have been nice to see an index of subjects and an index of Scriptural texts. All in all, contemporary theologians should read this book.