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Divine MultiplicityTrinities, Diversities, and the Nature of Relation$
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Chris Boesel and S. Wesley Ariarajah

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823253951

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823253951.001.0001

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Multiplicity and Christocentric Theology

Multiplicity and Christocentric Theology

(p.234) Multiplicity and Christocentric Theology
Divine Multiplicity

John F. Hoffmeyer

Fordham University Press

This chapter calls into question a common pejorative assumption that identifies multiplicity with fragmentation, and points out that fragmentation and the tendency toward disjointed “manyness” is not the only meaning of multiplicity. Rather, the etymology of “multiplicity” in fact works against such fragmentation. In this view, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is a particularly potent instance of just such a conception of multiplicity. Not only does it mediate the dialectic of unity and multiplicity, it also moves that dialectic off the plane of abstraction in a distinctive way. The chapter also argues that the development of the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be separated from the struggle to understand the significance of Jesus of Nazareth, using the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 to suggest an understanding of Christ as the “decentering center.” Such an understanding may enable an affirmation of trinitarian identity and relationality that is distinguishable from what are taken to be toxic forms of unity.

Keywords:   divine multiplicity, fragmentation, trinitarian theology, Trinity, Jesus, relationality

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