Academic journal article Theological Studies

Trinity in Relation: Creation, Incarnation, and Grace in an Evolving Cosmos

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Trinity in Relation: Creation, Incarnation, and Grace in an Evolving Cosmos

Article excerpt

Trinity in Relation: Creation, Incarnation, and Grace in an Evolving Cosmos. By Gloria Schaab. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2012. Pp. 351. $36.95.

Schaab has written a very accessible treatment of the God-world relationship, one that aims to exploit recent work in systematic theology that foregrounds relationality. Laudably, her starting point is explicitly not theological, as she wants to demonstrate the pervasiveness of a relational model of "the world" through insights drawn from philosophy and the natural and behavioral sciences. Closely structured throughout, the first half of the book presents trinitarian theology via a threefold model of relations of origins, emergence, and effect, answering this in the second half with a parallel model of an evolving cosmos.

The strength of this work is its ongoing attention to the role of language in shaping our understanding, with a fine overview of the use of metaphor in theology midway through the text. This overall attenuation of the notion of "relation" is an important aspect of the argument's credibility. Yet, as is sometimes true of recent work in trinitarian theology, the desire to right a variety of social wrongs--dysfunctional families, racism, heterosexism, poverty--is the goal of trinitarian theology, or at least its best rationale. …

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