"Perhaps in no area of theology is it more improtant to keep in mind than in Trinitarian theology, that the object upon which we reflect is another 'subject' or 'self', namely, the God who relentlessly pursues us to become partners in communion.God who is Love chooses to be known by love, thus theological knowledge is personal knowledge.
Theological knowledge is as much a matter of 'being grasped by God' as 'grasping God', of 'being conceived by God' as conceiving God.
God can only be apprehnded, not comprehended, in the union of love that surpasses all words and concepts...to see God is to see with God's eyes. Glory makes it possible to see glory."
Catherine Mowry Lacugna, God For Us. The Trinity and Christian Life (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991), page 332)
Hey, we had a fire drill the other day. In a few seconds I found myself outside having left my working library upstairs in my study and never gave a thought to that cliche question, "If there was a fire, which few books would you make sure you saved?" But if I had thought about it, one of them might have been my hardback copy of this book. I'm on my third re-read.
Catherine Lacugna died far too young. A promising and gifted theologian whose theologising was conducted as a literary form of doxology. This is, whatever the adjective means, a "great" book. C S Lewis once decried devotional writing and opted instead for the kind of theology you read with a pipe gripped in your teeth. With apologies to Lacugna for commending her book on the back of comments made by an Oxford Don whose paternalism and patriarchal tendencies are all too apparent, and who thought hard intellectual work required such a masculine symbolic aid to concentration as a chewed pipe, but I know what Lewis meant. Lacugna's book is theology as doxology, passionate thought meticulously researched, written out of personal conviction and an inner vision of the glory and beauty and goodness and truth that constitutes the essence of the Triune God, personal holy love in mutual relation.
She was one of the more conciliatory and authoritative feminist theologians, unwilling to assume hostility in those from whom she strongly differed in theological emphases. Her relational understanding of God provides a foundation for an entire systematics that sadly she did not live to write. And maybe she wouldn't have 'done' a systematic theology - systems are about control, constraint, predictability and management of ideas. Lacugna's theology does not lack rigour - but it breathes the spirit of intuition, privileges relational wisdom, expresses a fearlessly constructive urge, exudes contagious living urgency.
This book is on any reading list I prepare for a study of contemporary thought on the Trinity. Like the best of T F Torrance's work, from which it deeply differs, this is the tue theologian who prays, whose inner life is responsive to the truth she seeks in the inner life of the Triune God. It is not theologically flawless, but as theology offered in the spirit of doxology, it is exemplary. And an important companion in my early morning Advent reading - has anyone ever come across a Trinitarian take on Advent......., hmmm?