Original Research - Special Collection: God as One

The Infiniscience of the hospitable God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Re-interpreting Trinity in the light of the Rublev icon

Daniel J. Louw
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5347 | © 2019 Daniel J. Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 2018 | Published: 27 November 2019

About the author(s)

Daniel J. Louw, Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa


Because of the impact of church doctrine and many documents explaining the official confession of many denominations in Christianity, Trinity was mostly defined in terms of static and substantial categories (the impassibility of God). The undergirding research assumption is that the latter reflects, in most cases, more abstract and rather positivistic metaphysical speculation than representing the vividness of God’s compassionate being-with as explained and revealed in the narratives of the biblical account on God’s graceful intervention with the frailty of human life. The relational dynamics between the Father, the Son and the Spirit should be revisited. In this respect, the Rublev icon on Trinity could help establish the circular and spiral thinking of divine perichoresis as modes of God’s unpredictable, but faithful, covenantal and redemptive encounter with human misery. Trinitarian thinking should be directed by hospice-categories rather than by personhood-categories representing ‘substance’. It is argued that the trinitarian interplay should be re-interpreted in terms of compassionate categories stemming from the passio Dei in theopaschitic theology. This approach should be supplemented by the bowel categories of ta splanchna in order to qualify the infiniscience of the JHWH-Godhead: the being of divine interventions in terms of verbing terminology.


Trinity; Perichoresis; Rublev Icon; Infiniscience of God; Verbing God; Fides Quaerens Beatitudinem; Theopaschitic Theology


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