The three-in-one and the many: a study of Colin Gunton's trinitarian theology of modernity and post-modernity

Year of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Religion and Philosophy

Principal Supervisor

Kwan, Kai-Man


Gunton, Colin E, Theology, Trinitarians




The aim of this thesis is to explore Gunton’s Trinitarian theology and its understanding of modernity and post-modernity. It will analyze the general characteristics and the model of relationship of Gunton’s theory of the Trinity, discuss the possibility of Gunton’s Trinitarian theology as a solution of the problems caused by modernity and post-modernity, and try to figure out the value and the difficulties of his thought, especially in the context of the modern and post-modern Chinese academic world in Mainland China. It contains six main chapters: Chapter 1 gives a brief definition of two important concepts: modernity/post-modernity and Trinity, and delimits the scope of the main topics of this thesis. Chapter 2 gives a detailed examination of Gunton’s analysis of modern cultural problems according to the following structure: modernity’s disengagement, the disappearance of the other, and the sickness of relatedness and the rootless will (the loss of meaning and truth). Chapter 3 moves in a different direction and discusses the three persons of the Trinity and analyzes the Trinitarian model in Gunton’s theological system. As a continuation of Chapter 2, Chapter 4 discusses how the Trinitarian theology can (and at what level it can) overcome the crises in modern and post-modern culture. Chapter 5 provides an overall evaluation of Gunton’s Trinitarian theology. Finally, chapter 6 provides some theological insights for the Chinese academic world which is concerned with the evaluation of modern and post-modern culture. In that chapter Trinitarian theology is able to be constructively involved in the reflection on and the transformation of the process of cultural life, and realizes a genuine dialogue between the ideas/faith of Christianity and the culture of modernity. Therefore, it is very significant to introduce Gunton's Trinitarian theology to the Mainland Chinese academics, and so it would be helpful to make a comprehensive and in-depth theological study which this dissertation seeks to accomplish


Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong Baptist University, 2013.; Thesis submitted to the Department of Religion and Philosophy.;Principal supervisor: Professor Kwan Kai Man.; Includes bibliographical references (pages 206-2227)


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