In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
VENTER, Rian. Trinity and ethics: From a relational God to an ethic of the Other. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.1, pp.1-7. ISSN 2305-0853.
The article addresses the question whether the new appreciation for the doctrine of the Trinity could generate significant ethical implications. More specifically it investigates whether the identity of God in the Christian tradition does open new ethical sensibilities. The so-called Trinitarian Renaissance is briefly mapped, and the views of the theologians Zizioulas and Moltmann are described for an illustration of the turn to relationality. Critical resistance to a socially oriented doctrine of the Trinity is taken into account, but it is not considered as final and persuasive. Two theologians - Volf and Cunningham - are studied and how their theology addresses from a Trinitarian perspective ethical issues and specifically the problem of the Other. The article concludes that the doctrine of the Trinity could make a contribution to the public discourse on alterity. The Christian understanding of God could open avenues for understanding a most urgent contemporary problem. The Other is viewed as constitutive for own identity; and at the same time identity is realised by the embrace and care of the Other.