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Social Trinitarianist Concept of Person as Foundation of Social Ethics and Orthodox Euro Integration

The article investigates an influential doctrine of social trinitarianism (Moltmann, Volf, Boff, Zizioulas, Staniloae). According to this doctrine, the Trinity Christians believe in, is not a blended entity, but a living community of three individuals — a proto-image for the earthly communities. The latter aspect of the doctrine, namely what Imago [of Trinitarian] Dei means for Christian social ethics will be the focus of the study.

Social trinitarianist's concept of the human person consists of two complementary dimensions. On the one

Oleh Melnychenko, STL. Doctoral student of KU Leuven

hand, social trinitarianism stresses the irreducible value of each individual human being. It results in the theological denial of any form of exclusion, based on people's immanent features be it sex, race, or the health condition. An emphasis on the individual's value averts consumerism and other instances of the reduction of the human person to its "utility". On the other hand, social trinitarianism seeks to embody the perichoretic relations and the social dimension of both the divine and human person. As a consequence, it maintains the pursuit of common good, the need for openness to the other, and democratic values. A peculiarity of social trinitarianism is that although it is counted as part of Protestant legacy, its representatives often claim its profound Orthodox foundations. Therefore, the ambition of my article is twofold: I will both elaborate upon a prospective basis for a Christian social doctrine and offer a point of contact between the Orthodox world (including Ukraine) and the Western one. In doing so, I will contribute not only to the promotion of Western Christian values in Ukraine, but also offer a way to reconcile these values with (allegedly inimical to them) Eastern theology.


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