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Title: God from God : the origin, function, and meaning of the doctrine of eternal generation
Author: Malone, Joshua D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 7481
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the origin, function, and meaning of the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son. My aim is to analyse the emergence of this doctrine as a reading of Scripture, identifying its classical function, and thereby examining how those same functions are accomplished today in order to explore its continuing viability. In chapter one I look at the doctrine's early dogmatic expression in Origen, whose constructive theological approach to Scripture opens both pro- and anti- Nicene trajectories. Chapter two then traces two paths forward: that of Arius and the response of the Creed of Nicaea. Chapter three presents development after Nicaea in the theology of Athanasius, who offers some clarifications and elaborations regarding the Son's generation, forming an early synthesis of the doctrine. Chapter four examines the work of Wolfhart Pannenberg, who reconceives the theme of the Son's generation along historical and social lines, recasting divine relations in reciprocal and economic terms while retaining some of the earlier terminology. Chapter five considers the more revisionary approach of Robert Jenson, who reconstructs the theme of the Son's generation along strongly historical lines, flattening and integrating theology and economy. Finally, in chapter six I draw some synthetic conclusions, arguing that the Christian confession of the Son's eternal generation from the Father originates from and serves our theological exegesis, forming part of the indispensable whence for reading Scripture in the whither of the economy of salvation. Dogmatically, it performs a set of functions in theology proper and enables a set of broader distinctions - specifically, informing the ‘analogical interval' between Creator and creature. From this, I conclude that its place should be reconsidered on account of its enduring role in affirming and maintaining a crucial aspect of the mystery of the Trinity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available