This book was born out of the success of a similar joint project. After the Resurrection Summit, which also met at Dunwoodie (7-10 April 1996) and a year later produced The Resurrection (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), we decided to meet and have dialogue with scholars of a variety of disciplines on the belief at the heart of Christianity: the Holy Trinity. Hence we brought together sixteen other specialists, many of whom have already published works on God and the specific Christian belief in the tripersonal God. In planning the various papers that are published in this book, we wanted to include contributions from biblical studies, foundational (or fundamental) theology, systematic theology, moral theology, spiritual theology, patristics, the philosophy of religion, homiletics, liturgy, and the study of religious art. We managed to secure papers—sometimes more than one paper—in all these fields, and in one way or another all these fields are represented in this book.
To promote advance discussion and establish stronger connecting threads between the different contributions, we encouraged those presenting papers to circulate them in advance to all the members of the symposium. In almost every case drafts had been sent out (and in some cases also made available by e-mail) for feedback before we met at Dunwoodie (12-15 April 1998) for the Trinity Summit itself.
Our procedure and the scope of our book distinguish it from a very few other works on trinitarian belief produced in collaboration during the 1990s. The contributions to Trinity in Process: A Rational Theology of God, edited by Joseph A. Bracken and Marjorie Suchocki (New York: Continuum, 1997), come from one particular school, exponents of process theology. The Trinity in a Pluralistic Age: Theological Essays on Culture and Religion, edited by Kevin Vanhoozer (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1997), resulted from