This course builds on material presented in our earlier courses in the Fundamental Theology sequence and Christology, by delving more deeply into the mystery of the God of the Bible, who reveals himself as relational. Our concern here, as it was in Christology, is not merely to arrive at an abstract intellectual formulation concerning the nature of God but to find a way to speak about God, according to his own self-revelation, in such a way as to affirm the connection between who God is and what he intends for his creation. For this reason, this course treats not only the Triune God, but also the mystery of salvation, covenant, and Church, laying the groundwork for further studies related to those questions.
Students who complete this course will be equipped to:
· Articulate the objective content of the dogma of the Triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit,
· Identify several of the major heresies concerning the Trinity denounced in the patristic period and explain why they are offensive to the Faith,
· Explain what is at issue in variants of later theories of Trinitarian procession—for example, in the filioque controversy, or in the different theories articulated by Aquinas and Bonaventure.
· Offer a coherent and orthodox account of the unity of being and distinction of persons within the Godhead of Father, Son, and Spirit, faithful to tradition and suited to a catechetical presentation.