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The Trinity

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the doctrine of the Trinity, the idea of a threefold God, which lies at the heart of Christianity.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Trinity. The idea that God is a single entity, but one known in three distinct forms - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - has been a central belief for most Christians since the earliest years of the religion. The doctrine was often controversial in the early years of the Church, until clarified by the Council of Nicaea in the late 4th century. Later thinkers including St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas recognised that this religious mystery posed profound theological questions, such as whether the three persons of the Trinity always acted together, and whether they were of equal status. The Trinity's influence on Christian thought and practice is considerable, although it is interpreted in different ways by different Christian traditions.


Janet Soskice
Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College

Martin Palmer
Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education, and Culture

The Reverend Graham Ward
Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and a Canon of Christ Church.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

42 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Mar 2014 21:30


Janet Soskice at the University of Cambridge


Graham Ward at Christ Church, Oxford


Trinity - Wikipedia





Susan Ashbrook Harvey and David G. Hunter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies (Oxford University Press, 2010), especially chapter ‘The Doctrine of God’ Lewis Ayres and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz


Lewis Ayres, Nicaea and Its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology (Oxford University Press, 2006)


John Behre, The Way to Nicaea: Formation of Christian Theology Vol 1 (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2001)


Gilles Emery and Matthew Levering (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity (Oxford University Press, 2011)


Susan Frank Parsons (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2002), especially chapter ‘Trinity and Feminism’ by Janet Soskice


George Herbert, The Complete English Poems (Penguin Classics, 2004)


Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (Penguin Classics, 1998)


Ben Quash and Michael Ward (eds.), Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe (SPCK, 2007), especially essay on ‘Biblical Trinitarianism’ by Janet Soskice


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe (HarperPerennial, 1976)


Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998)


Graham Ward, Christ and Culture (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Janet Soskice
Interviewed Guest Martin Palmer
Interviewed Guest Graham Ward
Producer Thomas Morris


  • Thu 13 Mar 2014 09:00
  • Thu 13 Mar 2014 21:30

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