More on Trinitarian primers

Kyle mentioned his disappointment in his last post that Leupp’s The Renewal in Trinitarian Theology did not turn out to be the primer on developments in trinitarian doctrine that he had hoped.

karkkainentrinityLet me suggest instead Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen’s book, The Trinity: Global Perspectives (WJK, 2007), as an introductory volume that – while not perfect –  might just fill that category and be a good option for classroom use as well. The book is laid out in five sections encompassing a total of 27 short chapters. Parts one and two look at the Biblical roots of the doctrine of the Trinity and the historical growth of trinitarian doctrine. Part three surveys contemporary trinitarian views from both the European and North American contexts. Included here are short summaries and interactions  with (in typical Kärkkäinen style) the trinitarian theologies of Barth, Pannenberg, Moltmann, Jenson, and LaCugna to name a few. Part four applies the same treatment to non-Western views such as Latin America (Leonardo Boff, Gonzalez), Asia (Jung Young Lee, Raimundo Panikkar), and Africa (C. Nyamiti, Ogbannaya). The final part distills contributions for the future of trinitarian theology.

oxford-handbook-of-systematic-theologyIf I were teaching a class on contemporary trinitarian theology and/or wanted a resource to glean accessible introductions and bibliographic resources for various modern views, then I would certainly consider using this together with, perhaps, Fred Sander’s essay from the Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (This is a fantastic volume if you can get your hands on it!) and J.N.D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines for the developments in trinitarian doctrine related to Nicaea and Chalcedon.

Keep in mind, Kärkkäinen makes interpretive decisions throughout that will surely fail to satisfy everyone. However, for the bibliography alone and the exposure to a multitude of trinitarian views in one place, Kärkkäinen’s book is a handy resource. Any other suggestions?


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