Thursday, December 07, 2017

Kenosis and Trinity

Before a few notes on kenosis and Trinity, a word about the publication date of Silence: A User's Guide, vol. 2, which is, in the USA, March 9, 2018. Available from Wipf and Stock. The UK publication date (DLT) is not yet available.

Matt has written to ask about the relationship between kenotic theology and Trinitarian theology. The link is self-emptying. Each Person of the Trinity is self-outpouring. In patristic theology this is called circumincession. This is not something each Person 'does' but is rather who each Person is. Of course everything we say about the Trinity is inadequate; but we can talk about the self-outpouring of the Trinity because of the self-emptying of Christ.

In a purely speculative mode, we might think of the Trinity as kenosis-glory-wisdom; a Buddhist trinity might be emptiness-compassion-wisdom. It's interesting that wisdom and emptiness occur in both. Of course we could also say that the second Person of the Christian Trinity is also compassion; these are just analogies and hints. But recently I have been interested in glory as the other side of kenosis (see vol 2 above); kenosis does not lead to glory, it is glory. We cannot see the glory because we would be overcome, as Isaac of Nineveh says; but faith is in part the confidence (parrhesia) that this unity of kenosis and glory is so. This is one notion that ties together the epistles and the Gospel of John. This subject is all quite mind-blowing and unfolds slowly. More later, perhaps.

Happy Advent, everyone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you write about each emptying into the other I am reminded of the drawings of Escher where this is seen. However in Escher it is four sources and not three sources.

5:46 am, December 13, 2017  

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