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Open Theology

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Trinitizing the Universe: Teilhard’s Theogenesis and the Dynamism of Love

Ilia Delio
Published Online: 2018-02-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0011


The God-world relationship bears an ambiguous relationship between God’s immanent life and God’s life in history. The development of the doctrine of the Trinity in the early Church gave rise to a distinction between theologia and oikonomia. Bonaventure’s theology sought to express an economic trinitarianism without compromising the integrity of God’s life, thus maintaining divine immutability and divine impassibility. Twentieth century trinitarian theologies challenge the notion of divine immutability in light of modern science and radical suffering. This paper develops on the heels of twentieth century theology by focusing in particular on the philosophical shifts rendered by modern science and technology. In particular, the insights of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin are explored with regard to Trinity and evolution, precisely because Teilhard intuited that evolution and the new physics evoke a radically new understanding of God. Building on Teilhard’s insights, I suggest that divine creative love is expressed in a fourth mystery which Teilhard called ‟pleromization.” Pleromization is the outflow of divine creative union or, literally, God filling the universe with divine life. Teilhard recapitulates this idea in the evolution of Christ so that theologia and oikonomia are one movement of divine love. My principal thesis is that the Trinity is integrally related to the world; the fullness of divine love includes the personalization of created reality, symbolized by the Christ. To explore this thesis I draw upon the cyborg as the symbol of hybridization and permeable boundaries and interpret Trinitarian life in evolution as cyborg Christogensis. Using the Law of Three, I indicate why a new understanding of Trinitarian life involves complexification and thus a new understanding of Trinity in which the fullness of divine life includes created reality.

Keywords: Trinity; Teilhard de Chardin; cyborg; pleromization; evolution; Christogenesis


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About the article

Received: 2018-01-20

Accepted: 2018-01-24

Published Online: 2018-02-17

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 158–169, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0011.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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