Pilgrimage of Love: Moltmann on the Trinity and Christian Life

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In Pilgrimage of Love Joy Ann McDougall offers an original reading and critical analysis of German Protestant theologian Jürgen Moltmann's social trinitarian theology. She identifies the driving theological impulses, methodological convictions, and practical concerns that shape the author's evolving trinitarian vision. She uncovers the narrative of divine love in Moltmann's early trilogy and shows how its conceptual trajectory shifts and deepens in his six-volume Systematic Contributions to Theology. Building on her analysis, McDougall advances a compelling case for the concept of trinitarian fellowship as the structuring theological principle in Moltmann's later work. She demonstrates how this concept of divine love unifies the author's theological anthropology, theology of grace, and the practices of the life of faith. Finally, she shows how this "social trinitarian analogy of fellowship" serves as an elastic rule of faith in the personal, political, and ecclesial realms of human existence. While McDougall highlights the prophetic potential of Moltmann's trinitarian theology for Christian praxis, she also challenges the author's underdeveloped doctrine of sin and theory of theological language. Pilgrimage of Love offers one of the first comprehensive interpretations of Moltmann's mature trinitarian theology. It introduces, systematizes, and clarifies the thought of one of the most significant Protestant theologians at the turn of the twenty-first century. This study will be an invaluable resource on Moltmann's thought for scholars of modern Protestant theology, and for all those interested in the current renaissance of trinitarian theology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A creative new interpretation of Moltmann's theology. ...offers an illuminating account of the theological centrality of the love of God, and a valuable new hermeneutic for reading Moltmann's entire theological project." —J="ugen Moltmann List

"Pilgrimmage of Love is remarkable for its combination of consistent sympathy for Moltmann's theological intentions, consistently penetrating analysis and critique, and unfailing even-handedness. McDougall's reading stresses the changes in Moltmann's Trinitarian thought, clarifying them by showing what theological interests led him to modify earlier formulations. At the same time, her reading brings out themes that are constant and consistent throughout the development of Moltmann's Trinitarian theology. The combination allows her to focus sharply on important features of Moltmann's Trinitarian thought that continue to be problematic. This book is important as well as original."—David H. Kelsey, Weigle Professor of Theology Emeritus, Yale Divinity School

"With clear prose, careful scholarship, and respectful criticism, Joy McDougall taces the shift central to Moltmann's theology: from a theology of the cross to a social doctrine of the Trinity with and enriched account of the Holy Spirit. In the process, she has produced not only one of the best studies we have of Moltmann but also much original reflection on the questions we need to be asking about the Triune God, who stands, as more and more theologians today are realizing, at the heart of Christian faith."—William C. Placher, Charles D. and Elizabeth S. LaFollette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Wabash College

"McDougall does an exceptional job displaying the 'logic' of Moltmann's work using a variety of thematic keys—the historical trajectory of divine love, the distinction between immanent and economic trinity, and the shifting set of doctrinal topics that Moltmann uses from book to book—to re-focus the whole of his theological vision. The interpretations of Moltmann are eminently fair, very careful and nuanced. Yet McDougall maintains her own critical voice throughout, pushing Moltmann's position in directions it has yet to go."—Kathryn Tanner, Professor of Theology, University of Chicago Divinity School

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Emory University

University of Tubingen

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the return of the trinitarian God of love 3
2 The dialectic of crucified and creative love in Moltmann's early theology 29
3 The relational ontology of love in the Messianic theology 59
4 A social trinitarian theology of the human person 101
5 The human pilgrimage in the messianic life of faith 121
6 Conclusion : toward a contemporary trinitarian theology of love 153
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