Wednesday, December 3, 2008

utopia

I recently submitted a paper on Leonardo Boff's 'liberation theology' and its reflection on the Holy Trinity. Boff's Trinitarian summa, Trinity and Society, was the backdrop for my presentation. I highly recommend this book with the hope of uncovering a new way of seeing the Trinity and its residual relevance. There is a condensed and revised version available that might be a bit more conducive entitled Holy Trinity, Perfect Community. Throughout my time researching I was able to reflect on a deeper level regarding the implications of the Holy Trinity for 'community'. I began my paper with the following quote from Boff:

"If God means three divine Persons in eternal communion among themselves, then we must conclude that we also, sons and daughters, are called to communion. We are image and likeness of the Trinity. Hence, we are community beings. Solitude is hell."

Sometimes we ask, why did God 'create'? What was the purpose of humanity? I came to the conclusion that creation is not some 'after-thought' rather it is a natural expression of love and communication that first comes from the Triune God, moves to creation, and then makes its way back from all of us, i.e. a repeated circular interaction. We share love. God is Love, so how can one love if there is nothing to love? Without something to share love with, there is no reason to love. By taking a quick and limited glimpse into the Holy Trinity, we see 3 persons and 1 substance. This substance that holds the Trinity together is perichoresis; a greek term used to describe an interpenetrational love that binds. This mutual, interdependent expression of 'love' is shared simultaneously within the Trinity representing equality versus dictatorship.

God is 3 in 1. We looked at the love regarding God as 3 but we still have to deal with God as 1. The Godhead, as One, naturally desires to then share its love externally by creating humanity to make this 'sharing' possible. Creation demonstrates this natural movement of love birthed in God preceding into the creation process. To me, this is a beautiful explanation and reason for life.

"So creation is not merely the result of a later act of will external to the Trinity, but is an expression of the intimate, perichoretic life of God, a life that expands outwards, creating different beings with whom God can communicate and enter into communion." -Trinity and Society

The Holy Trinity with its simultaneous and mutual love given between each Person (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) shows us the 'perfect' model of community, i.e. what we should do here on earth. The Trinity is not a community based on a hierarchy of Persons who stand on 1,2,3 podiums telling us who is best, better and left out, instead they are an egalitarian cooperative bond. This divine Trinitarian community is full of love, equality, and respect for each person in each case. It is a community that dares to radically give of themselves for the better of the group. Simply because we have been created by God tells us that we are a reflection of the Trinity and we should 'do' what they 'do', i.e., promote one another. I want to leave you with a definition of utopia by Alfred Hennelly that I found intriguing and inspiring.

utopia: the denouncement of dehumanization and the announcement of humanization.

How might we model our lives and communities toward this transpirable utopia? How can we do this?

1 comment:

Brittany said...

I read this tonight.

"Sometimes we ask, why did God 'create'? What was the purpose of humanity? I came to the conclusion that creation is not some 'after-thought' rather it is a natural expression of love and communication that first comes from the Triune God, moves to creation, and then makes its way back from all of us."

I have lately asked this question a lot. It is hard for me to think that God's natural expression of love was in creating us. But yet is comforting to think that too.

I liked that definition of Utopia...a lot.