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Human experience and Triune God: Theological exploration of the relevance of human experience for Trinitarian theology

Bernhard Nausner, (2007) Human experience and Triune God: Theological exploration of the relevance of human experience for Trinitarian theology. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The overarching aim of this work is to develop a new account of the doctrine of the Trinity that is more attentive to human experience. It will be argued that such an approach is overdue because contemporary trinitarian theology pays insufficient attention to the fact that theology as linguistic discourse is inescapably embedded in human experience. This neglect is particularly worrying because many theologians who favour a kind of social doctrine of the Trinity claim that the Trinity is a doctrine with practical consequences for human life. The main thrust of this project, therefore, is to link the doctrine of the Trinity more creatively with human experience and to develop an understanding of how and who the triune God is in relation to human life as it is lived and experienced by human beings. The discussion is divided into five chapters. Chapter One highlights the need for a new approach engaging in a critical discussion with some trinitarian theologians. By giving close attention to the concepts of experience and revelation and their embeddedness in language. Chapter Two aims at establishing an understanding of experience that underlies all human linguistic discourse. This account will lead to the conclusion that trinitarian discourse must pay proper attention to both the human condition as experienced by human beings and religious experience which is expressed in biblical narratives. Consequently, while Chapter Three, drawing on contributions from contemporary literature, the human sciences (Franki, Weizsäcker) and philosophy (Lévinas), gives an account of what it is to be human. Chapter Four, engaging with biblical narratives, tries to spell out how biblical experience might inform Trinitarian discourse. In conclusion, Chapter Five offers an interstitial trinitarian theology that maintains such discourse as creative tension. An account of the Trinity in relation to human life will emerge and draw the whole argument to a close.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:34

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