Deus caritas est: Trinitarian theology and the humility of the Spirit

David Paul Liberto, Marquette University

Abstract

The second half of the twentieth century was marked by an increase in studies on the doctrine of the Trinity. With the advent of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 1967, it was only a matter of time before theologians addressed the subject of pneumatology as well. Recently some theologians have proposed models of the Trinity that emphasize the activity of the Holy Spirit in the immanent life of the Trinity. One contemporary theologian, Thomas Weinandy, defends a trinitarian model that suggests such an active role for the Spirit in the immanent trinitarian life. He states that the Father begets the Son in or by the Holy Spirit. In this dissertation I propose a pneumatology of humility which operates from the notion that the Holy Spirit is active in the immanent Trinity precisely in his receptivity. This effort is primarily a result of a synthesis and completion of the thought of Thomas Aquinas. In my positive attempt to articulate a pneumatology of humility, I ground my effort in a metaphysics of love, a metaphysics whose foundation is Thomas' thought as found in the Summa Theologiae . From here I synthesize this understanding of love with Thomas' own trinitarian theology. In this way the dissertation is an attempt to complete the thought of Aquinas and to bring his thought to bear on the current concerns of pneumatology. Finally the implications of a pneumatology of humility are expounded with regard to ecclesiology and ecumenical dialogue with the Eastern Orthodox. I attempt to demonstrate how a pneumatology of humility can support and improve the model of the Church as Servant. I conclude with how an understanding of the Spirit's humble role in the immanent Trinity has implications in the area of soteriology and supports the doctrine of deification. In this way a pneumatology of humility is open to ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox.

Recommended Citation

David Paul Liberto, "Deus caritas est: Trinitarian theology and the humility of the Spirit" (January 1, 2003). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI3093145.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI3093145

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