Trinity (Theology)

Trinity (doctrine in Christianity)

Trinity [Lat.,=threefoldness], fundamental doctrine in Christianity, by which God is considered as existing in three persons. While the doctrine is not explicitly taught in the New Testament, early Christian communities testified to a perception that Jesus was God in the flesh; the idea of the Trinity has been inferred from the Gospel of St. John. The developed doctrine of the Trinity purports that God exists in three coequal and coeternal elements—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (see creed1). It sees these "persons" as constituted by their mutual relations, yet does not mean that God in his essence is Father, or a male deity. Jesus spoke of a relation of mutual giving and love with the Father, which believers could also enjoy through the Spirit. The Trinity is commemorated liturgically in the Western Church on Trinity Sunday. For systems denying the Trinity, see Unitarianism.

See studies by L. Hodgson (1960) and A. W. Wainwright (1962); G. L. Prestige, God in Patristic Thought (repr. 1964); J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (1977); E. Jüngel, God as the Mystery of the World (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Logic of the Trinity: Augustine to Ockham
Paul Thom.
Fordham University Press, 2012
Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology
Stanley J. Grenz.
Fortress Press, 2004
Deus Trinitas: The Doctrine of the Triune God
David Coffey.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Doctrine of the Trinity
Cyril C. Richardson.
Abingdon Press, 1958
The Trinity
Stephen McKenna; Saint Augustine.
Catholic University of America Press, 1963
Modern Trinitarian Perspectives
John Thompson.
Oxford University Press, 1994
The Trinitarian Controversy
William G. Rusch; William G. Rusch.
Fortress Press, 1980
Nicaea and Its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology
Lewis Ayres.
Oxford University Press, 2004
Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England
Paul C. H. Lim.
Oxford University Press, 2012
The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God
Jürgen Moltmann.
Fortress Press, 1993
Pilgrimage of Love: Moltmann on the Trinity and Christian Life
Joy Ann McDougall.
Oxford University Press, 2005
Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology
Kathryn Tanner.
Fortress Press, 2001
The Creative Suffering of the Triune God: An Evolutionary Theology
Gloria L. Schaab.
Oxford University Press, 2007
Trina Deitas: The Controversy between Hincmar and Gottschalk
George H. Tavard.
Marquette University Press, 1996
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