God for Us

Imbelli, Robert P.

BOOKS God for us or God for God? Some months back, Robert GOD FOR US arate intra-Trinitarian realm in which ...

...Modern theology has, since Hegel, brought the issue to the forefront of its concerns: may God be said to be affected by the created universe to the point of, in some sense, sharing its suffering...
...Three weekends and knowing...
...This entific image of the world, neither mathDevelopment of personal observation filled Galileo with wonder ematicians nor scientists understand what spirituality with the knowledge and delight...
...Some months back, Robert GOD FOR US arate intra-Trinitarian realm in which Egan wrote an article in The Trinity and Christian Life the divine persons dwell in sublime Commonweal bearing the Catherine Mowry LaCugna isolation, relating exclusively to one anintriguing title, "Why The- HarperCollins, $25, 434 pp...
...At issue here is not whether our only access to the Mystery of the triune God is through the economy, the "missions" of Christ and the Spirit, sent for us and our salvation...
...Contrary to the post-Nicene tendency, can Christian theology legitimately attribute suffering to God...
...By restricting Christ's suffering to his human nature, classical theology seems to insulate divinity from the full experience of incarnation and thus not do full justice to the New Testament witness...
...Attention shifted from experwas preparing this review of Catherine iential reflection on the mystery of God's Mowry LaCugna's theologically impor- leading to the formulation of the classical loving action on our behalf in the econtant, intellectually demanding, and spiri- doctrine of the Trinity...
...NIA 112167 or call f617) 552-8440, (800) 487-1167 or (Fax) (617) 552.0811...
...Did the church's doctrine of the Trinity meet "defeat...
...may take issue with one or another of her and self-sufficient life of God in himself, She movingly reiterates Augustine's con- historical interpretations, her undertak- comprises the defeat of the original intent fession in the course of his own Trinitarian ing is an exemplary one and provides in- of the doctrine of the Trinity...
...Indeed, his inability to successive equal intervals of time and choose is the point of his book...
...ularly useful as a tool for learning about the world...
...At root, and skills to assist others...
...Though specialists God for us, from the presumed immanent ment of assuming they care enough too...
...That is: between the church's normative doctrine, whose parameters are established by conciliar definitions, and theologians' ongoing efforts to appropriate and extend our understanding of the Trinitarian faith we profess...
...Van Jo WO MI RABBI JACK BEMPORAD of Temple Israel in Independent Publishing Since 7854 Lawrence, New York, is founding a new Center...
...other (the so-called "immanent Trinity...
...The modem world began when ideal, outside of nature, and reality, inCommander William Ditewig, USN Galileo rolled a polished met- cluding the human mind, participates in Bowie, Maryland al ball down an inclined this preexisting order...
...A final question concerns the legitimacy of the post-Nicene development itself...
...Thus she pays deserved homage to a fair-minded assessment of religious funda- Karl Rahner for helping to revitalize mentaIism...
...For transcendence, its disinclination to re- stands the concern whether her unremitting LaCugna Christology and pneumatology main self-contained...
...I thought of Egan's article as I structive...
...Beneath the more rarified epistemological debates looms another religiously acute problem...
...Theology, Spirituality, and the Body: Collren Griffith Addiction as Idolatry: Miitisterial Approaches: Merle Jordan THE INSTITUTE AT BOSTON COLLEGE Invites You To Prepare For Your Future In Ministry In Historic New England Summer of 1993 Ministry in Transition: Keeping Pace With a Changing World ll i+u uc pre-rutty imt iicd r, >5:t,,: Inrm of m:m,in in vii Ir:n,:, or rumnnuun', or are at:erco :: u: hcconmag :m r+lrc d.:+nue anc sic how the Li.ntulr r.,r...
...I shall and philosophical import...
...One senses in LaCugna a divided mind on the matter, with a final position still in flux and formulations not yet fixed...
...She is usually supreme irony of this development of the mation of humanity through Christ and in clear, provides helpful recapitulations, classical doctrine of the Trinity was that the Spirit...
...Following tion, revealed and realized in the Trinitarian "The worship and praise of God is the liv- the contemporary Greek Orthodox theeconomy of salvation and confessed in the ing context, the precondition even, for the ologian and bishop, John Zizioulas, Laecclesial community, as the concrete con- theological enterprise as a whole...
...Although Basic theological concepts and found that they increased as the odd num- mathematics is the foundation of our scimethods related to ministry...
...sketches the New Testament's proclama- LaCugna's first strength lies in her sintion of the salvation effected by God gle-minded focus upon the "economy of through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit and salvation...
...Indeed, it can traditional theological discourse: "Change Limited time on campus...
...24: 29 January 1993 Commonweal Special Pwgrmn: Holistic Ministry in a New Era, July 12-16 Evening Course: 6:00-9'00 p.ni...
...Certain readrequirements...
...From this vantage the conciliar development smacks of a "Hellenization" of the gospel, an intrusion of an incompatible ontology...
...Person," whether in di- from a sovereign freedom that infinitely Further, and this is LaCugna's second vinity or humanity, is never self-contained, transcends created reality...
...Indeed, the for every understanding of the triune iden- doxological climate is not a decorative purpose of God's economy of creation tity of God...
...Wilier Harrclson Introduction io the Old Testament Rob,.rt Inlh'll, Foundations in Theology Ell-,lm h lArmn ChristologySession Two: July 12 July 23 liar lkws Tcadiing Tht Pedagogy of uinistn ]n rph Knury C,uwn Los: A Pastoral Perspective Through the Lens of Marriage (_11+,hn1 [lock The Epistles of St...
...It church and professional life...
...For more information contact: omy at the University of Sussex in Britain This reviewer is inclined to believe that Graduate Office-Guerin Hall Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and an accomplished science writer, takes any theology relevant to the late-twentiSaint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876 up the question in his latest book, Pi in eth century must begin with mathematics...
...C.A-E.S., Ph-D...
...His conclusion: The book of mathematics is or why it works...
...ology Is Hard to Read (and As I understand LaCugna, she views this Why You Should Do It Anyway)" [March Robert P. Imbelli development as both unwarranted and de8, 1991...
...It is charged predilection for the theology of Saint nion of persons is the ultimate reality: that with its author's conviction, based on the Bonaventure, as much for its spiritual af- to be is to be in communion...
...Insightful chapters omy of salvation to the abstract and contually enriching new book...
...Orthodox 26: 29 January 1993 Commonweal...
...Hence part 2 of the book, "Rerises at times to real eloquence...
...It is gories like "substance" and "hypostasis" animated throughout by the sound connow somewhat strange to us and requir- viction that the doctrine of the Trinity is ing a goodly amount of historical retrieval of the utmost practical import, with clear and imagination to discern their religious consequences for Christian living...
...Last first Phone: 1 1 'trcet (:n5-: State: Zip Code: -outanl' Fax: I ) Nicene problematic," itself in need of revision, "because of the postulation of an intradivine self-communication...
...issues I have raised are replete with Her book will serve as an indispensable "seems" and "appears...
...Clair llinistn to the Troubled Personality Session Three: July 26-August 6 Glaltcr lintcgcmann The Psalrus itrening: 6:00-9:00 p.m.y Sidney CalL ban Family late: Challenges and Choices E3emard Cooke Sacramental Theology C7airc 1-01 %M Integrative Colloquium Theology and Pastoral Practice James O Donohoc Fundamental Ethics Thom.t, C,ruumr C;raduate Degrees and Continuing Education: .A., M APdSW, A4-Ed...
...It is the fundamen- es philosophy (and theology) by counting Indianapolis, Indiana tal epistemological question...
...gospel, that "God's economy is not the aus- fectivity as for its Trinitarian acumen...
...Here, indeed, are devoted to Arius and Athanasius, the ceptual problematic of how God could be is a work both hard to read and, without Cappadocians and Augustine, Thomas both one and three in God's "inner life...
...BOOKS God for us or God for God...
...Nothing in the world eludes mathemati- is precisely the way this book approachSheila Gilbert cal expression...
...Of course, the two themes are inyear are the only on-campus There is no greater mystery than this- tertwined, as they should be...
...Perhaps this reference for future efforts to explore bespeaks the fact that serious theology the reality of God for us: the blessed is indeed hard to read, even for full-time Trinity...
...theologians...
...The be said that nonmathematical knowledge `mathematics' to `God' and little else external degree format begins is held suspect by scientists...
...nature is written in the language of math- our faith in science is religious, says ematics...
...God for Us is imbued with "add-on" to theological reflection, but the and redemption is to establish this all-inthe urgency to keep the God/human rela- very condition of its fruitful possibility...
...highlight some of the strengths that charLaCugna structures her book in two al- acterize her "re-conception...
...This is particularly disappointing in that the doxological consequences of her position alone call for a more extended elaboration...
...LaCugna clearly opts for a positive response...
...Christian Spirituality for a New Millenrtiurn: Margaret Brennan Afternoon Workshops: 1-00-4:30 p.m...
...812-535-5206 the Sky: Counting, Thinking, and Being...
...any doubt, well worth the effort...
...She views the antiArian reaction as to some degree the triumph of a philosophical view of God's impassibility over the biblical revelation of God's cruciform love in Christ...
...LaCugna Aquinas and Gregory Palamas: an amaz- This unhappy disjunction of the Trinity cares enough to think theologically and crit- ing accomplishment in this age of ex- of the economy of salvation, who is ever ically...
...i. , e ,+,, in ntc:tun +ontr goals through coo:>c, dnd work hops for enrLLIuncnt, u+nunu,r,g:dttr.llt+n: a:ut degree...
...but then criticizes him for being too tied to a "postThe Glory and the Power The Fundamentalist Challenge to the Modern World REVIEWERS Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby ROBERT P. IMBELLI is director of the InstiPhotographs by Micah Marty tute of Religious Education and Pastoral Min$30.00 hardcover istry at Boston College...
...The fixareflection: "nowhere else is the error more formed discussion of the Trinitarian tion upon God's "inner life," independent dangerous, the search more laborious, and reflections of the authoritative teachers of of creation and redemption, resulted in a the results more rewarding...
...the Eastern and Western church...
...This God and with all humankind...
...and pays her readers the compli- treme specialization...
...Traditionally, many Holy Spirit (the so-called "economic Trin- tarian aggiornamento exhibits both specof these issues have been framed in cate- ity")-and the theoretical positing of a sep- ulative skill and spiritual sensitivity...
...At times LaCugna appears almost nostalgic for a pre-Nicene, indeed biblical pattern of reflection, predominantly functional in orientation...
...Spiritual Survival for DR...
...In This summary gives but a taste of the tere distribution of meager resources but a lovely sentence, redolent of Bonaven- range and richness of LaCugna's achievelavish grace, a glorious inheritance, be- turean sensibility, she writes: "Praise is the ment...
...Academic Year Weekend Courses tiummcr On-C:nnpus Air Conditioned Apartments with Kitchen tiuhs,ann.tl Finanrral Aid -----------------------------------------I i+ rec]ucst a cops of the Institute's Bulletin...
...LaCugna's book is serious I am conscious that the questions and theology and very worth the wrestling...
...The God who is for effort to overcome the dichotomy between must again become ingredient to Trini- us is also to be worshiped for God's Self...
...Foremost among them ordained to be consummated...
...It is the source of our power, our a philosophical reflection upon the nature one 8-day summer session each hegemony, and our hubris...
...SAINT MARY TH-E W O.O-DS COLLEGE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN P1 IN THE SKY selves: (a) Mathematics is a human inPASTORAL Counting, Thinking, and Being vention, like the English language or the John D. Barrow game of chess, which has proven particTHEOLOGY Oxford University Press, $25, 317 pp...
...I work mathematics exists as a kind of Platonic full-time...
...All readily concede the point...
...Her ambitious attempt at Triniembody in practice...
...Indeed, so chary is she of speaking of God's "inner life" that the impression can be unwittingly conveyed of a God who is but a function of human community...
...the efficacy of mathematics as mediator ers may be impatient to get to the juicy  between mind and nature...
...and in the Spirit...
...with a weekend on campus, dence upon numbers as the guarantors of Pi in the Sky is really two books: a followed by work at home in regular consultation with truth defines the modern, Western way of provocative history of mathematics, and professors...
...It is not Cugna holds that the Trinitarian economy text for any further theologizing either surprising, then, to find her showing a of salvation makes manifest that commuabout God or about humanity...
...And the God At times LaCugna seems to be simply ologizing is the worship of the commu- revealed in the ongoing economy of sal- underscoring the fact that we are not dealing with different Gods when we speak of economic and immanent Trinity...
...Paul tlarui Po%w 1 heolo,' of %linis[n' Michael tit...
...It is, rather, whether we discern, through this Trinitarian pattern of salvation, a true apprehension of the God who, in God's own life, is communion of persons...
...b) the universe is intrinsical"I wanted the theological Chet Raymo ly mathematical and we learn mathemateducation and I wanted it with a ical thinking by studying the world...
...One wonders, then, whether the book sufficiently differentiates between the doctrine of the Trinity, confessed by the church and constitutive of its nature, and Trinitarian theologies...
...numbers, but that would be a mistake...
...plane...
...At other times, however, the insistence is so pressed as almost to abolish the distinc"Something rare: tion...
...for BEACON 25 Beacon Street 6oston, MA 02108 Jewish-Christian Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut...
...or (c) pastoral emphasis...
...strength, the privileged setting for such the- but always ecstatic, relational...
...Yet other passages hesitate and seem to lapse into a cognitive agnosticism as to whether, for example, God would be triune were there no creation...
...clusive communion of persons...
...TIMOTHY BYRNES teaches political science Springs of Water in a Dry Land at Colgate University...
...Booklist DRY LAID published this spring...
...on the fingers that gives its conclusions John D. Barrow, a professor of astron- weight...
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...Even more important, salvific action whose pattern is Trin- of God's action on our behalf and our thethey are determinative of what Christians itarian-the redemption and return of all ological affirmations about the very being may hope for and what they are called to humanity through Christ to God in the of God...
...Department R, Chestnut Hill...
...15.00 paperback CHET RAYMO, professor of physics at SPRIf1S Stan chill College in Massachusetts, is a science columnist for the Boston Globe and au"A thoughtful book for all women in the church qWATIVITLI thor of several books on science...
...the world is mathematical...
...which lies all cnurs's and contains unItirm;ilu+n anti ahhltr:r Inn forms, r:+roplrte Ilus tray-, ii limit and noun 10 Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, Boston College...
...thh:viral Proy ram with Housing at Sabbatical Program Center lime and Two Week Sumn cr Courses and 11-nrkshops...
...At other times the inevitability of the post-Nicene response is acknowledged, though its one-sidedness is lamented...
...This depen- might seem to change...
...Part 1, "The Emergence raise some questions regarding aspects of and Defeat of the Doctrine of the Trinity," her enterprise...
...and then most equal parts...
...loss of its power to lead into a deeper apNot that the difficulty of the book is the According to LaCugna, however, the propriation of God's ongoing transforresult of LaCugna's style...
...D IC = GOD...
...economic and immanent Trinity risks jeoptarian theology, not way stations to be left The third characteristic of LaCugna's ardizing the distinction between God's behind once one has attained the specu- work is her insistence that "relation" must salvific work for human good and the very lative heights of Godhead considered in serve as the key category in all reflection goodness who is God and whose action in itself, as she holds classical Trinitarian upon the God who saves us through Christ both creation and redemption proceeds teaching tended to do...
...He measured the dis- Barrow does not choose any one of External Degree Format tances the ball traveled in these alternatives...
...Pondering her book also raised a numstowed in prodigal good pleasure, fore- creature's mode of ecstasis, its own self- ber of questions...
...or did theological reflection and pastoral discernment fail to realize the doctrine's radCommonweal 29 January 1993: 25 ical implications...
...Kirkus Reviews Catholic Trinitarian thinking...
...There are pages of God for Us which seem to respond affirmatively and thus to transcend a Kantian restriction of our knowledge to the merely phenomenal: a position the Catholic tradition, with its critical realism, vigorously repudiates...
...She contends that Light of the Mystery of Salvation," is Christian understanding of the very nature there developed an increasing gap between LaCugna's effort to repair the breach, to of ultimate reality, are themselves theo- the experiential appreciation of God's reknit the bonds between our experience retically demanding...
...Unfortunately, she tends here simply to affirm rather than argue the case...
...This idea may sound shocking, even blasSeveral possible answers suggest them- phemous to many theologians...
...His second and far men who want to know the novel, The Dork of Cork (Warner's), will be frustration women feel...
...What we take philosophical questions, and skip the de"The program affords me the to be fundamental laws of nature are ex- manding chapters on the anthropology of luxury of integrating home pressed in simple mathematical form...
...Barrow, and discussions of the nature of Practical application of specific Today, our most secure knowledge of mathematics bear striking similarities to skills essential for ministry...
...of truth...
...Session One: June 28-July 9 Tyler 1-rink 1.surgical Prayer: Aesthetics and spnntalny .haring Faith in Religious Education and Ministry L,tistaro Guucrrce Theology of Liberation (Evening: 6:0CL9:00 p.m...
...Here again the reader encounters a certain ambiguity that reinforces one's uncertainty about the ultimate intent of the study as a whole...
...bers beginning with unity: 1, 3, 5, etc...
...Soteriology, reflection upon the examines subsequent theological reflec- meaning of God's salvation through Christ, tion upon this "economy" of salvation, and pneumatology, reflection upon the Commonweal 29 January 1993: 23 Spirit's ongoing transformation of hu- nity, which replicates and reenacts the con- vation is the tri-personal God, who calls manity in the image of Christ, thus stand crete pattern of our salvation: to the Father man and woman to covenantal relation with as the wellspring and ongoing reference through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit...
...Rather, it eventuated in the "defeat" of what it Conceiving the Doctrine of the Trinity in the issues of Trinitarian doctrine, the sought to preserve...

Vol. 120 • January 1993 • No. 2


 
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