The Church as the Image of the Trinity: A Critical Evaluation of Miroslav Volf's Ecclesial Model

Overview

A resurgence of Trinitarian interest gained momentum in the twentieth century and it is showing little sign of abating in the twenty-first century. This research endeavors to critically evaluate Miroslav Volf's ecclesial model for "the church as the image of the Trinity," one which he presents with the English title, After Our Likeness. Volf proposes a social doctrine of the Trinity, one that is heavily influenced by the theological writings of Jürgen Moltmann, and he puts forward that this non-hierarchical ...

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''The Church as the Image of the Trinity'': A Critical Evaluation of Miroslav Volf's Ecclesial Model

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Overview

A resurgence of Trinitarian interest gained momentum in the twentieth century and it is showing little sign of abating in the twenty-first century. This research endeavors to critically evaluate Miroslav Volf's ecclesial model for "the church as the image of the Trinity," one which he presents with the English title, After Our Likeness. Volf proposes a social doctrine of the Trinity, one that is heavily influenced by the theological writings of Jürgen Moltmann, and he puts forward that this non-hierarchical Trinity should be reflected in the structures and theology of the church. If Volf is correct, then a radical reshaping is needed for the church to conform to an egalitarian pattern, one that is "after the likeness" (Gen 1:26) of an egalitarian God.

In this critical examination, Kevin J. Bidwell begins by stating the theological influences that are pertinent to Volt's thesis in After Our Likeness and the assumptions that undergird and inform his whole theological paradigm. An important theological excursus is offered to assess the theology of John Smyth, the first English Baptist, who is Volt's representative figure for the location of his own ecclesiology, the Free Church. A critical analysis follows of Volt's engagement with his two chosen dialogue partners who represent both Western and Eastern theological traditions: Joseph Ratzinger and John D. Zizioulas.

Volf presents five theses for "the church as the image of the Trinity," which could be labeled as Volt's Free Church in the image of Volt's revised doctrine of the Trinity. This monograph offers extensive insight into the contemporary debate on the doctrine of the Trinity, but it also assesses many aspects of ecclesiology from both Eastern and Western perspectives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610973731
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: WEST Theological Monograph Series
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

List of Abbreviations ix

1 Introduction 1

2 The Influence of Jürgen Moltmann upon Volf's Theological Paradigm in After Our Likeness 11

3 Other Theological Influences upon Volf in Relation to After Our Likeness 24

4 Volf's Trinitarian and Ecclesial Paradigm 41

5 Free Church Ecclesiology: John Smyth as Volf's Chosen Ecclesial Representative 57

6 Volf's Dialogue with Joseph Ratzinger 89

7 A Critical Evaluation of Volf's Dialogue with Ratzinger 114

8 Volf's Dialogue with John Zizioulas 123

9 A Critical Evaluation of Volf's Dialogue with Zizioulas 143

10 A Critical Evaluation of "The Ecclesiality of the Church" 162

11 A Critical Evaluation of "Faith, Person, and Church" 184

12 A Critical Evaluation of "Trinity and Church" 192

13 A Critical Evaluation of "Structures of the Church" 213

14 A Critical Evaluation of "The Catholicity of the Church" 229

15 Conclusion 235

Appendix: Suggested Reading 241

Bibliography 245

Scripture Index 265

Index of Names 267

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