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, eccelesiology, worship, ethics, mission and interfaith dialogue, as well as its possible misuse.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
United Theological College
Canberra Campus
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

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed subject THL468.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are recommended to have prior knowledge equivalent to or studied THL111, THL113 and THL215.

Subject Relationships

THL468 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


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 critically reflect 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 Athanasius, the Cappadocian theologians and Augustine;
  • be able to critically review recent developments in trinitarian thought and their contemporary implications, particularly in the contexts of Australia, Asia and the South Pacific;
  • be able to analyse various critiques of trinitarian theology; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Biblical foundations
  • The philosophical, Christological and political underpinning of trinitarian theology
  • Pivotal thinkers: Athanasius, the Cappadocians and Augustine
  • The loss of trinitarian consciousness
  • The contemporary renewal of trinitarian theology
  • The social Trinity
  • Implications of trinitarian thought for Christian theology, Christian anthropology, ecclesiology, worship, ethics, mission and interfaith dialogue
  • Implications of trinitarian theology for contemporary Australian, Asia and the South Pacific

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL316 in Term 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Essay 1
Essay 2

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.