Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Many friends and colleagues have made contributions to the work I have done on this book since I first conceived it three decades ago, more than I can even remember, but I would like to give special thanks to several who not only read the entire manuscript but also made many valuable suggestions: Rodney W. Kilcup, William...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

In the year 400 CE, Aurelius Augustinus, bishop of Hippo, whom we now know as Saint Augustine, sat down to begin his treatise The Trinity (De Trinitate). At the Council of Constantinople a few years before, in 381, the doctrine of the Triune God had been proclaimed as official dogma in the formulation now known as the Nicene...

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Chapter 1. Divine Sonship in Israel

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pp. 17-36

Symbols live in time. The images they are rooted in and the meanings that constitute them evolve together in relation both to the times that surround them and to the pull of transcendence that sometimes leads them toward what is beyond time. The word God is itself a symbol whose meaning has evolved over time; this is why one can find books with titles...

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Chapter 2. The New Testament Narrative of Son and Spirit and Its Ancient Antecedents

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pp. 37-72

In the figure of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament, all the images and symbols from the Hebrew Bible that were discussed in the preceding chapter begin to converge and give further definition to the particular symbols that would later be used in formulating the symbolism of the Triune God and the doctrinal definitions associated with it. The image of...

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Chapter 3. From Symbols to the Formulation of Doctrine in the Creeds

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pp. 73-112

As we saw in the preceding chapter, for the earliest Christians, Israel had become narrowed down in Jesus to the one true “son of God” in whom Israel’s calling to sonship was at last fulfilled. Then, after Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension, Israel expanded again to encompass all those, Jew or Gentile, who came to be incorporated into the life Jesus...

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Chapter 4. Augustine and a New Symbolism for the Western God

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pp. 113-136

With the conclusion of the last chapter, the exposition of the historical unfolding of the primary symbolism of the Triune God, from early biblical imagery to the doctrine of the ecumenical councils through Chalcedon, is complete. As I explained in the Introduction, a primary symbolism, as I am using that term borrowed from Eric Voegelin, is one...

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Chapter 5. The Breach between East and West

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pp. 137-198

That there has been a breach, sometimes referred to as the Great Schism, between the Christian East and the Christian West is incontrovertible. What that breach was about, however, and when and how it took place are less clear. The stock answer in the West to the latter question is that it took place in 1054, when Cardinal Humbert of Mourmoutiers, who...

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Chapter 6. The Aftermath in the West: God and Power

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pp. 199-251

With the events of 1204–1261, the separation between the Eastern and Western Christian worlds, which had begun in a way that was hardly noticed in either West or East and only gradually began to be conscious and deliberate in the time of the Carolingians, finally became an open breach marked by blood and fire. But although the key elements...

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Chapter 7. The Aftermath in the East: Understanding Union with God in Christ

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pp. 252-294

Sometime around 1330, a Greek-speaking scholar from Italy, Barlaam the Calabrian, arrived in Constantinople, an event that would both precipitate a theological crisis and stimulate a response to it that would eventually carry the Eastern Orthodox tradition to a new level of articulation. Barlaam had grown up in one of the small areas of Greek language, culture, and...

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Chapter 8. The Great Divide

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pp. 295-326

It should be clear from the preceding chapters’ tracing of the different patterns of religious thinking in the Eastern and Western Christian worlds that under the broad umbrella of what goes by the name of the Christian religion there is a great divide between two fundamentally different ways of thinking about key aspects of the Christian faith. In Chapter 5, I...

Notes

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pp. 327-388

Bibliography

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pp. 389-416

Index

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pp. 417-435

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About the Author

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pp. 436-436

Eugene Webb is Professor Emeritus of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and is the author of numerous...