Freedom and Necessity in Modern Trinitarian Theology available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Oxford University Press
Freedom and Necessity in Modern Trinitarian Theology examines the tension between God and the world through a constructive reading of the Trinitarian theologies and Christologies of Sergii Bulgakov (1871-1944), Karl Barth (1886-1968), and Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988). It focuses on what is called "the problematic of divine freedom and necessity" and the response of the writers. "Problematic" refers to God being simultaneously radically free and utterly bound to creation. God did not need to create and redeem the world in Christ. It is a contingent free gift. Yet, on the other side of a dialectic, he also has eternally determined himself to be God as Jesus Christ. He must create and redeem the world to be God as he has so determined. In this way the world is given a certain "free necessity" by him because if there were no world then there would be no Christ. A spectrum of different concepts of freedom and necessity and a theological ideal of a balance between the same are outlined and then used to illumine the writers and to articulate a constructive response to the problematic. Brandon Gallaher shows that the classical Christian understanding of God having a non-necessary relationship to the world and divine freedom being a sheer assertion of God's will must be completely rethought. Gallaher proposes a Trinitarian, Christocentric, and cruciform vision of divine freedom. God is free as eternally self-giving, self-emptying and self-receiving love. The work concludes with a contemporary theology of divine freedom founded on divine election.
About the Author
Brandon Gallaher is Lecturer in Systematic and Comparative Theology at the University of Exeter.
Table of Contents
References and Abbreviations
Introduction: The Absolute Freedom of God as Mystery and 'Problematic'
1. Freedom and Necessity as a Trinitarian Mystery and 'Problematic'
2. Divine FreedomA Dialectical Approach: From Freedom to NecessityThe Shape of a 'Problematic' (A)
3. Divine FreedomA Dialectical Approach: From Necessity to FreedomThe Shape of a 'Problematic' (B)
Part I: Part I: God as both Absolute and Absolute-Relative in Sergii Bulgakov
4. 'Sophiological Antinomism'Sergii Bulgakov's debt to and Critique of Vladimir Solov'ev
5. God as Absolute and Absolute-Relative in Bulgakov: Theological Antinomy in the Doctrine of God
6. Divine Freedom and the Need of God for Creation
Part II: Divine Self-Determination in Jesus Christ in Karl Barth
7. Trinity and the Doctrine of Election in Karl Barth
8. Trinity, Freedom, and Necessity in Karl Barth: A Dialectical Approach
Part III: Jesus Christ and the Trinitarian Appropriation of the Dialectic of Freedom and Necessity in Hans Urs von Balthasar
9. The Metaphysics of Love: Four Steps
10. The Trinity, Creation, and Freedom: More on the Fourth Step
11. Christ, Creation, and Divine Possibilities'Sheltered within' the Trinity
12. Concluding Unsystematic Systematic Postscript