Transcendentality and the Gift

Modern Theology 38 (1):81-99 (2022)

This article seeks to consider the compatibility between the doctrine of the Trinity and the theory of the transcendental properties by offering a consideration of the notion of the ‘gift’ as a transcendental term. In particular, this article presents a re-reading of John Milbank’s influential theology of the gift through Colin Gunton’s project of developing ‘trinitarian transcendentals’. In addition to showing how Milbank’s notion of the gift could be systematically understood in terms of what Gunton calls a ‘trinitarianly developed transcendental’ which nonetheless avoids many of the problems found in Gunton’s original project, this article argues understanding ‘gift’ as a transcendental term can not only provide us with new ways of reconceiving the relationship between the philosophy of transcendental properties and various traditional doctrines, it can moreover show us how the traditional and biblical names of the Holy Spirit as ‘the Gift’ and the Son as ‘the Word’ can offer new ways of developing distinctively trinitarian accounts of metaphysics.
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