A seminar open to the entire academic community was held on 14 May 2015, an intense study day for Sophia’s Trinitarian Ontology Department, and was attended by over 40 students and professors. The occasion was the visit of Jesuit Professor,Gonzalo Zarazaga of the San Miguel Faculty of Theology in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with which Sophia has a joint Doctorate agreement in Theology and Philosophy.
Prof. Zarazaga who teaches Trinitarian Theology and Christology, and has been the Dean of the Faculty for over 10 years, on developing his assigned theme, presented an in-depth itinerary on themes regarding the perspectives of contemporary Trinitarian Theology. Starting from the paradigm of the substance and the subject, his analysis firstly highlighted the success and limits of the Trinitarian theology of Barth and Rahner, across the consideration of inter-subjective paradigm of its main exponents - Balthasar, Moltmann and Pannenberg.
“Each paradigm certainly has a valid proposal to offer – said Sonia Vargas, a Bolivian first-year student enrolled under the academic agreement between the two institutes, and currently working on her doctoral research on the theme of the Easter event, under the guidance of Prof Zarazaga himself – but every approach demonstrates also limits and difficulties in the fascinating progress in the comprehension of the Trinitarian Mystery, its reality of being simultaneously one and threefold.”
In fact, if the paradigm of the substance focuses its tension on the Oneness –as Zarazaga stressed in his main discourse – leaving momentarily in the background the Trinitarian dimension, the paradigm of intersubjectivity would in this way underline the diversity more, starting from the distinction between the Divine Persons in order to bring us later to the Oneness: “Both paradigms delineate a rather pyramid-like scheme, but the old Trinitarian issues continue to persist, since they are expressed in a very pertinent and precise manner to respond to the demands of contemporary thought.”
This complex framework slowly opens out however, towards a new proposal, which is more in line with the challenges of modern times, that of a paradigm of communion on which Zarazaga has been working for some time now: “The comprehension of the Trinity as love and communion between three Persons seems to be the only path that allows us to imagine a God who gives himself as love. And considering it as a communion, however, does not signify our comprehension of this as a simple result of the union of three Persons, or an originating unity from which the three Persons come. The idea of communion I propose is not a final result; it is a mutual and continual donation of love where the three Persons are, inasmuch as they give themselves in a perichoresis within the mutual communion of one within the other.”
The dialogue session that followed gave the possibility to explore these assertions deeper. This was a really challenging and fertile encounter for the Sophia community, and which was widely reflected in the studies of the Trinitarian Ontology Department, in the common effort to find the answers to present-day culture which seeks God-Communion, a God who is the total gift of himself. The complete text of Prof. Zarazaga’s discourse will be published in Sophia Magazine’s next release.