THL316 The Triune God (8)

This subject explores the development of the Christian understanding of God as Trinity, from the biblical origins of the doctrine to key historical and theological developments in the first five centuries and also to the rejuvenation of the doctrine in more recent decades. It considers the implications of renewed trinitarian thought for theology, Christian anthropology, ethics, eccelesiology, mission and interfaith dialogue. The subject also critiques the possible misuse of trinitarian theology and its broader impact.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Term 1 (75)
On Campus
Ming Hua Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL316. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Assumed Knowledge

THL111, THL113 and THL215

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the biblical origins of the Christian understanding of God as Trinity
  • be able to reflect critically on the early emergence of trinitarian themes in Christian debates about God
  • be able to discuss classical developments in trinitarian doctrine with special reference to the Cappadocian theologians and Augustine
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of recent developments in trinitarian thought and their contemporary implications
  • be able to demonstrate awareness of various critiques of trinitarian theology and its possible misuses
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Biblical origins of the Christian understanding of God as Trinity
  • The early development of the doctrine of the Trinity
  • Arius and Athanasius
  • The contribution to trinitarian thought of the Cappadocians
  • The lasting influence of Augustine on the doctrine of the Trinity
  • The mysterious disappearance of the doctrine of the Trinity and its subliminal continuance
  • Barth, Rahner and the re-emergence of the doctrine of the Trinity in the twentieth century
  • Recent developments in trinitarian thought
  • Implications of trinitarian thought for Christian theology
  • Implications of the doctrine of the Trinity for Christian anthropology and ethics
  • Implications of the doctrine of the Trinity for ecclesiology, mission and interfaith dialogue
  • Critiques of contemporary developments and misuses of trinitarian theology


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.