Tag Archives: Trinity

Article on Kasper’s and Ratzinger’s Trinitarian Theologies

I have posted a PDF of my Nova et Vetera article on the Social Analogy for the Trinity, or rather for the “I-Thou” argument for the Trinity. It appears on my Academia Web page.

The first page of the article I paste below:

Nova et Vetera, English Edition, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2017): 113–159

The “I-Thou” Argument for the Trinity:Wherefore Art Thou?
Christopher J. Malloy
The following thesis typifies a recent current of thought in Trinitarian theology: “The living God can . . . be thought of only as Father and Son, while a non-trinitarian, purely monotheisticGod would in fact have to be declared dead.Such an opinion, it would seem, would have struck twentieth-century Jewish thinker Martin Buber as false. After all, the central message of the Shema is “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut 6:4, RSV). Buber did not read this prayer as Trinitarian, but he did have “monotheistic” faith in the living God. Were he alive, Buber might register surprise that the author of the thesis is a major proponent of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, Walter Cardinal Kasper. Further, Kasper argues to the thesis by way of a reformulation of Buber’s own claim: “An I without a Thou is unthinkable.” Did Buber simply fail to grasp the universality of his own insight and so apply it to the God beyond the firmament?Or did Kasper overreach?Kasper presents an iteration of what I call the “I-Thou” argument for the Trinity. The argument is almost always attended by the so-called “Social Analogy,” according to which God is contemplated through the iconic similitude of a community of human persons…. 

New Article on the Trinity, touching on Kasper and Ratzinger

My latest article was just published. It is entitled, <<The “I-Thou” Argument for the Trinity: Wherefore Art Thou?>>

It was published in Nova et Vetera (English Edition) 15 (2017): 113–159

Abstract of Article: Recent Trinitarian theology, though rich and fruitful in many ways, often suffers from a lack of scientific theological precision. A notable example is the inclination of recent thinkers, such as Kasper and Ratzinger, to describe the Trinitarian faith in such a way as to imply that God cannot be rightly conceived except as Trinitarian. As they imply, if we know that God is a person or an “I,” we must know that he is Trinitarian. Correlatively, little attention has been paid to the divine unity, and much less attention to the content of the preambles of the faith, the truth of which is discernible by natural reason. The implications for inter-religious dialogue remain unconsidered, yet they are disastrous, since, on this line of reasoning, all faith commitments except the Trinitarian faith commitment must be false, and since the rational conclusion to a being that is intelligent, personal, and one must be false. This line of thought rises to the distinction of persons at the expense of the excellence of the divine nature. The current essay seeks to expound the pith of this recent line of thought and to evaluate it critically, suggesting a major reconfiguration of the noble insights that inform the problematic outcome.

The argument that undergirds the recent approach to theology is what I call the “I-Thou” argument for the Trinity. Roughly, it runs thus. God is an “I,” but he is not a bachelor. Since he is not a bachelor, he has a “Thou.” This thou cannot be limited or finite or created. Therefore, God is an I in relation to another divine I. Eventually, this argument works in another divine person and stops there. I call this logic “Evel Knievel” logic:

You can read the Introduction on the following page of the website ACADEMIA.