Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




It takes three persons to exhaust the notion of person - the three of the Trinity. It takes the Incarnation and all the succeeding mysteries that flow from this to establish historically that inner reality of life we have come to know as sonship. Reflecting on these mysteries the Christian begins to be aware of the basic core of reality.

First and foremost being (person/Father) is relational. The Father is self-communication: in a perfectly conscious way he utterly communicates or gives of himself. He gives absolutely everything he is to Christ; because of this the Son is equal to the Father, except in the fact that the Father initiates this relationship. That is why the Father's distinctive contribution to the notion of person is relational.

Secondly, being (person/Son) is receptive. The conscious and utter openness of the Father is mirrored by the openness of the Son. But whereas the Father initiates, the Son receives: the Son totally accepts his relationship with the Father. The concept of receptivity is the critical notion in understanding the personality of Christ: he is totally dependent upon the Father for life. As we are going to see in more detail, this posture of receptivity, which is also called sonship, is the distinctive genius of the Incarnation, characteristic of the person, Christ.

Thirdly, being (person/Spirit) is identification. The willingness of the Father to find the totality of his identity in the Son and the Son's receptivity of the Father1s total self-giving is the Spirit, the bond of unity between the Father and the Son, the willingness of identification between the Father and Son.