Trinity (chr.)

 Citation link: Trinity (chr.)  

(Turk. Teslis)

In addition to the incarnation (when God became man in Jesus Christ), the Divine Trinity constitutes the centrepiece of the Christian idea of God. Nevertheless, the articulation of this religious truth (‘God is a being in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’) is the result of developments in the history of dogma in which the role played by the categories of Greek philosophy was not negligible. Though Jesus did not consider Himself the second Divine Person in the Trinity, even the Scriptures of the New Testament ascribed Divine characteristics and powers to Him. The belief that God fully and entirely disclosed and revealed Himself in Jesus Christ eventually required the adoption of the Divinity of Jesus (defined at the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325). The definition of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit as well (at the First Council of Constantinople in the year 381), the conceptual articulation of the doctrine of the Trinity was complete: a single being in three hypostases. The term ‘hypostasis’ was used to designate a specificity that consists purely in a certain type of relation: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three gods; instead, they form a unity and are distinguishable from one another only through the relationship that constitutes the fulfilment of absolute love. The Son issues from the Father through generation; the Holy Spirit is the breath of love and the connection of love in this unity. The key message and meaning of any conceptual-speculative theology of the Trinity must be the experience that God is not a lifeless-empty abstraction but rather an utterly vital fulfilment of absolute, personal love.

Martin Thurner

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