The Term «Person» in the Trinitarian Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg

by Theodore James Whapham (Author)
©2012 Monographs VII, 168 Pages
Series: American University Studies , Volume 321


The term «person» has been important in the development of the doctrine of the Trinity. Modern uses of the word, however, have changed drastically its meaning and have raised serious questions about the lasting significance of the definition of the Trinity produced by the controversies of the patristic era. For this reason, some modern theologians have argued in favor of rephrasing traditional formulas, particularly the Trinitarian formula of one God in three persons. Others have contended that the term «person» should be retained in Trinitarian theology, because the modern notion of an individual center of consciousness and action helps to express the relationships among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This book analyzes and evaluates the Trinitarian theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg (1928–) and the importance that he attributes to the term «person.» In addition, this study provides an overview of key themes in the systematic expression of his theology in general and summarizes his treatment of the term’s use throughout the history of Trinitarian theology. The crucial discussion in the present work takes the form of an analysis of Pannenberg’s Trinitarian theology and his use of the term «person» with particular emphasis on the way this material is developed in his systematic theology. The final chapter evaluates the contribution, importance, and influence as well as strengths and weaknesses of Pannenberg’s thoughts on the debate over the use of the term «person» in Trinitarian theology.


VII, 168
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (August)
christ Pannenberg Trinitarian theology
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2012. VIII, 168 pp.

Biographical notes

Theodore James Whapham (Author)

Theodore James Whapham is Assistant Professor in the School of Theology and Ministry at St. Thomas University, where he directs the Master's of Divinity and Master's of Arts in Pastoral Ministry Programs. He earned his PhD in historical and systematic theology from Catholic University of America and has written articles on Trinitarian theology, pneumatology, and the transmission of tradition.


Title: The Term «Person» in the Trinitarian Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg