I recently was asked to review the new book "Transformed by the Trinity" written by Sr. Carol Frances Jegen, BVM. Overall, I found the book disappointing. I offer my thoughts on each of the chapters below. For positives, the book was organized well and it was a fast, easy read. But, theologically, the book is flawed.
Chapter 1: "The Befriending Spirit"
The most distracting aspect of this chapter is the continued repetition of "Befriending Spirit". Sr. Jegen virtually completely refers to the Holy Spirit as "the Befriending Spirit", which is highly distracting. Even more problematic, Sr. Jegen rarely uses the term "Holy Spirit" even though the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "'Holy Spirit' is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son" (CCC 691). Throughout the entire chapter on the "Befriending Spirit" there is no mention of any council before Vatican II, even though doctrines on the Holy Spirit were fundamental in numerous ancient councils. Leaving out such references causes this Chapter to lose credibility. Even the Bibliography at the back of the book lists only recent books - the oldest was written in 1971. Why does she omit thousands of years of Theological disputations on the Holy Spirit?
Chapter 2: Jesus
Sr. Jegen in this chapter cites literation theologican Sobrino positively (36), even though liberation theology has been condemned by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Another controversial theologian, Jürgen Moltmann, is cited. No references to any of the numerous saints or theologians before Vatican II.
Chapter 3: Jesus' Abba and Ours
The most glaring error of this chapter is a further quotation of Sobrino: "The Father suffers the death of the Son and takes upon himself all the pain and suffering of history" (44-45). It is heretical to say that God the Father died on the Cross. This statement seems to sound like Patripassionism, a long-held heresy.
Chapter 4: The Meaning of God as Tripersonal
This chapter read quickly and easily, but I found it without any great spiritual insights. There were far too many peace and justice issues mentioned.
Chapter 5: Making All Things New
Again, Sr. Jegen references liberation theology: "...in the light of liberation theology...[we understand] that the lives of crucified peoples are continuations of Jesus' sufferings" (88).
Sr. Jegen offers no dogma on the Holy Trinity. She merely offers a few anecdotes and numerous references to social justice and liberation theology. I was disappointed in this book. For real information on the Trinity, find a copy of another truly Catholic book.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Posted by Matthew
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