“THE PERSON” IN THE HOLY TRINITY

Czesław Stanisław Bartnik

Czesław Stanisław Bartnik

Czesław Stanisław Bartnik (1929–), Professor of the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, a Personalist – in contact with John Paul II. A notion of the person and a notion of the nation in Personalism are his very specialized topics. The author of 50 books and about 1500 articles, his main books are: Kościół Jezusa Chrystusa, Wrocław 1982, Personalizm, Lublin 1995, 2000, Dogmatyka katolicka, Lublin 1999, vol. I.

“It is important to build the bridges in this age of personalization,” Lublin 1985.

In the history of thought, terms and concepts have their own proper histories. Theological terms and concepts are no exception to this rule and of great importance is the fact that their meanings undergo change. It is for this reason that a theological doctrine on the Holy Trinity is not viable without modernizing the term and concept ‘person’. The development and expansion of this concept leads to the further progress of trinitology.

The Stages of Development of a Theology of the Person

In reaching towards a theology of the person, Christian thought has passed through five stages of development. We propose to consider these stages in a perspective of the semantic sources of the idea of the person functioning in the various epochs of the history of trinitology.

a) The first source was to be found in classical philosophy flowering in the cultural heritage of Greece and Rome. This philosophy understood the person as a sort of scenic role (cf. the classical dramaturgical mask) and later, for the most part under the influence of Christianity, as a rational individuum distinguished from the more general category of the species animal rationale. It was in this spirit that Boethius defined the person as an individual substance of the rational nature (rationalis naturae individua substantia).

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