Monday, December 7, 2009


Trinity - Andrei Rublev (1411 or 1425-27)

The Trinity provides a symbolic picture of totally shared life at the heart of the universe. It subverts duality into multiplicity. Mutual relationship of different equals appears as the ultimate paradigm of personal and social life. The Trinity as pure relationality, moreover, epitomizes the connectedness of all that exists in the universe. Relation encompasses and constitutes the web of reality and, when rightly ordered, forms the matrix for the flourishing of all creatures, both human beings and the earth.


If the image of God is the ultimate reference point for the values of a community, then the structure of the triune symbol stands as a profound critique, however little noticed, of patriarchal domination in church and society. The power of an interpersonal communion characterized by equality and mutuality, which it signifies, still flashes like a beacon through a dark night, rather than shining like a daytime sun. Human community in a relationship of equals has yet to be realized save in isolated and passing instances. Yet the central notion of divine Trinity, symbolizing not a monarch ruling from isolated splendor but the relational character of Holy Wisdom points inevitably in that direction, toward a community of equals related in mutuality. The mystery of Sophia-Trinity must be confessed as critical prophecy in the midst of patriarchal rule.

- Elizabeth Johnson, She Who is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse (New York: Crossroads, 1992), pp.222-223.

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