Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and Real Sex, was at North Park Theological Seminary last week and the seminary was kind enough to make the lectures public — so my two classes gathered in the seminary chapel for her two talks — one on Trinitarian Spirituality and one on Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity. I’ll focus here today on her “theology” lecture:
Lauren is now done with her PhD (from Columbia) and teaching at Duke. She saw three implications of the Trinity for Christian spirituality … and I’m guessing these are some points from a class lecture or the makings of a new book.
Her big question: How do we inhabit “Trinity” and (1) not just talk about it and (2) avoid our ever-present danger of being Deists or Unitarians? Now, what about your thoughts on Trinitarian spirituality: where does a belief in Trinity, where does our inhabiting Trinity, lead us in terms of spirituality?
1. Prayer is to be seen as participation in the ongoing dialogue of love of the Trinity. If A.C.T.S. is the normal instruction in prayer, it tends to emphasize that we initiate the conversation and enter into a conversation with God. No, she says. That conversation is endlessly ongoing — a conversation about redemption and grace and love and peace — and when we pick up the phone (my trope) we simply participate in that conversation.
2. Trinitarian spirituality images a difference without subordination and without violence, so once we inhabit Trinity we enter into the ontology of peace — and she discussed both politics and gender. Peace, she claimed, is more controversial than war.
3. Trinitarian spirituality models God’s hospitality within GodSelf and reveals an essential relationality. Community, therefore, is participation in the Trinity.
Stan Friedman‘s summary of the lectures.