An Engagement with the Theology of Eberhard Jüngel


Trinity, Freedom, and Love

(T&T Clark, 2012)



By critically engaging Eberhard Jüngel’s doctrine of the Trinity, this volume makes a broader, constructive contribution to contemporary trinitarian thought.  The argument centers on the question -- posed by the inconsistences uncovered in Jüngel’s doctrine of God -- of how one can assert both divine freedom and the inter-subjectivity of God’s trinitarian self-determination.  Can one, in other words, maintain God’s freedom in the interest of divine spontaneity and creativity, while remaining committed to inter-subjective vulnerability which the Cross entails as an event of divine love?

Malysz suggests that a resolution to this problem lies in a logic of divine freedom, which, next to the trinitarian logic of love, constitutes a different and simultaneous mode of trinitarian relationality.  To develop this logic, Malysz draws on Jüngel’s understanding of human freedom as rooted in the “elemental interruption” of the self-securing subject.  Malysz thus not only brings Jüngel’s view of divine freedom into correspondence with the anthropological effects that Jüngel ascribes to it, but, above all, offers an imaginative, new way of closely integrating the doctrine of God and theological anthropology.   <extended abstract>


What others are saying:

‘In this highly challenging work Eberhard Jüngel's theology is subjected to a searching and substantial analysis. Ambiguities in his doctrine of the Trinity are not only pin-pointed but also creatively resolved. Much light is cast in the process on his difficult and distinctive ideas of freedom and love. Piotr J. Maylsz's work will be a standard point of reference for all those interested in these questions.’ – George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary, USA

‘Eberhard Jüngel has been one of the most creative and complex theologians working in the wake of Karl Barth. In this ambitious and carefully argued work, Malysz offers a skilful and illuminating analysis of the core concern of Jüngel's project: to rethink the interplay of love and freedom as definitive both for theological anthropology and for the doctrine of the trinity. In so doing Malysz provides not only an interpretation of Jüngel, but something rarer: a constructive proposal which joins the trajectory from Barth to Jüngel, and then boldly carries it further.’ - Paul DeHart, Vanderbilt University, USA

'In this exacting new study of Jüngel's trinitarian thought as it relates to the problem of human freedom, Malysz balances immaculately courteous exposition of Jüngel's position with a penetrating critique of its final coherence. Malysz's own suggested repair of Jüngel's proposal requires that he acknowledge two distinct manners of trinitarian relationality - one grounded in love, the other in freedom. This is a timely reassessment of Jüngel's trinitarianism from a young theologian of notable originality and flair.' - Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

‘Jüngel is one of the deepest, most gripping and least appreciated among leading contemporary Christian theologians. Malysz expounds him clearly, analyses him (and his commentators) acutely and combines this with sensitive critique and constructive response. He thinks through Jüngel's great themes, such as freedom, love, crucifixion, Trinity, possibility, necessity and interruption, and helps us to think afresh with them for the sake of future theology.’ – David F. Ford, University of Cambridge, UK

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