Divine action, Christ and the doctrine of God : the trinitarian grammar of Adolf Schlatter's theology
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This dissertation constitutes an examination of the inner-theological basis of Adolf Schlatter's theology which, as recent research has established, needs to be understood in terms of a theology of God's works. The foundation of Schlatter's theology is recon- structed by means of a critical outline and assessment of three dogmatic concepts, namely: a) the relation between God and the world; b) the ground and mode of God's agency in, and towards, the world; c) the structure of God's agency and works. I argue that the doctrine of the Trinity constitutes the ontological basis for Schlat- ter's concept of divine action. It is seen that Schlatter relates God's triune being ad intra and God's triune economy ad extra, through the notion of love. This analogia caritatis assumes the form of an analogia operationis which gives rise to an analogia relationis. Special attention is devoted in this context, first, to the role which Schlatter ascribes to the Holy Spirit and, second, to the Christocentricity of Schlatter's approach. At decisive points in this study, attention is drawn to parallels between Schlatter's thought and the contemporary trinitarian theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg, Colin Gunton, Christoph Schwebel and others. In the light of the trinitarian depth-structures of Schlatter's theology of divine ac- tion, an effort is made to explicate his theology of God's works as an attempt to model a theology in methodological obedience to God's triune economy. Fundamental aspects of Schlatter's approach are briefly reconsidered from a trinitarian perspective. What the present study has found itself obliged to offer constitutes, in essence, a new reading of Schlatter's dogmatics, conceived, in effect, as an applied trinitarian theology.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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