Personhood and the notion of self is an important topic in my research, both in regard to the Trinity and to spiritual formation. During my search for resources on the self and personhood I discovered this article from Pannenberg, but also discovered that it has never been officially translated into English. I passed my German exam, but do not have the skills to translate it, thus rendering this article a black box to me. (perhaps I should try to translate it, but I never did). Imagine my delight when I came across Sanders’ blog and was able to read this in English. It was like witnessing a beautiful blossom unfold before my eyes. Thank you!
My research relies heavily on the Social Trinity and draws upon theologians like Lacugna, Moltmann, Zizioulas, among others. It is important to note that not everyone agrees with their theological constructs. Michel Barnes is a key voice that has pointed out a fundamental flaw in the recent Trinitarian conversation. The flaw centers on a misunderstanding and misappropriation of Augustines’s doctrine of the Trinity. Barnes statement can be summarized:
I have argued that contemporary systematic appropriations of Augustine are based upon methods and accounts that are preselected for mirroring a widely held hermeneutic or ideology of systematic theology. These methods and accounts typically include an unconscious dependence on de Régnon, a tendency towards a logic of ideas, including a lust (operative even when unfulfilled) for encyclopedic comprehensiveness at the conceptual level coupled with a reduc tive use of primary sources, a retreat from the polemical genre, with an emphasis on the philosophical content of doctrine. The popular judg ment that Augustine’s trinitarian theology sacrificed the oeconomia is presently too burdened by the unreflective use of such hermeneutical presuppositions to be regarded as established or even likely.1