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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Trinity (Theology): Selected full-text books and articles

The Logic of the Trinity: Augustine to Ockham By Paul Thom Fordham University Press, 2012
Deus Trinitas: The Doctrine of the Triune God By David Coffey Oxford University Press, 1999
Doctrine of the Trinity By Cyril C. Richardson Abingdon Press, 1958
The Trinity By St. Augustine; Stephen McKenna Catholic University of America Press, 1963
Modern Trinitarian Perspectives By John Thompson Oxford University Press, 1994
The Trinitarian Controversy By William G. Rusch; William G. Rusch Fortress Press, 1980
Trina Deitas: The Controversy between Hincmar and Gottschalk By George H. Tavard Marquette University Press, 1996
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