(provisional) God means freedom: divine-human personhood and freedom in the theologies of Colin E. Gunton and Leonardo Boff
|Résumé de la thèse
(provisional) Western philosophies have failed to do justice to the concept of divine-human personhood. These philosophies are also in a certain sense heterodox theologies, which have programmatically distorted the correlating conceptual relationships between freedom and personhood. Colin E. Gunton and Leonardo Boff both represent retrievals of the doctrine of the Trinity in order to address failures in modern conceptions of the 'person'. Gunton's post-liberal participation in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first-century neo-patristic 'turn' represents a Reformed voice, who thoroughly engaged the Church Fathers, yet who advanced the theological accomplishments of Karl Barth and his doctoral advisor Robert Jenson. Gunton's attention to the Christological and pneumatological facets of divine-human communion allowed for an approach to divine grace as the mode of God's relating to creation that perfects the freedom of the creature. This non-competitive account of divine-human communion overcomes the apparent antinomy of freedom and necessity whenever, like Jesus Christ, a person is enabled by the Holy Spirit to transcend the barriers of necessity by freely choosing the demands of another's situation. Gunton's focus on free obedience occasioned by the demands of historical situatedness allows for an integration of his pneumatology to bring together 'necessity' from a personalist understanding. That is, the free obedience one chooses is not abstract, but is represented by the human and personal 'other'. Together with Leonardo Boff's ecological concern and integral approach to the contextual demands of liberation, Gunton and Boff may be correlated and refined for a renewed trinitarian approach to personhood. This ecumenical approach could enable the Church to provide a personalist politic, an ecology of care, and an economy of grace that serves as an alternative to the untenable tyrannies of capitalist greed or communist absolutizing collectivism.
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