Date of Award
Doctor of Theology (ThD)
Dr. David Falcone, La Salle University
Fr. Francis Berna, PhD, La Salle University
Dr. Stephen Martin, President Emeritus, Philemon Foundation
This dissertation presents a new myth, a new skin to hold our understanding of who God is in the here and now through a mystical understanding of Christianity as seen through a Sophianic lens. This will be accomplished by way of the following methodology: We begin with an overview of how Sophia has been interpreted in Orthodox Christianity through the scholarship of Russian sophiologists. This examination will be integrated with an overview of what is meant by the Sophianic approach.
The Sophianic approach leads naturally into Raimon Panikkar’s Cosmotheandric Intuition and the Trinitarian shape of reality. Panikkar’s system will provide the overall framework for this dissertation. We will explore the three key elements of his system; creation, humanity, and the Divine. For each element, a representative mystic will be presented. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of the Cosmic Christ will highlight the entire cosmos, creation, as an interconnected web of relationships contributing to the mystical body of Christ. The exploration of humanity will include C. G. Jung’s concept of salvation as the becoming or emergence of the Self by way of the individuating ego, thus introducing the psychological aspects of Christian spirituality. Creation and humanity viewed in this Sophianic light opens us to our rebirthed realization of the Divine as dynamic becoming. Beatrice Bruteau will guide us further into this transformational vision of the Divine as dancer and the dance itself, birthing God in the VIII present through continuous creating, and through what she has termed incarnational mysticism, the intimate, incarnate, creative, active, presence of God in space and time.
In conclusion, Panikkar’s triadic structure is integrated with Jung’s consideration of the archetype of the quaternity. With every trinity Jung would search for the fourth to facilitate wholeness. The Sophianic approach explored thus far is proposed as the missing fourth in our apprehension of God, leading us to the realization of the wholeness of God as becoming in space and time and as humanity’s participation in the felt experience of God in our soul’s own becoming, all of which leads to the creation of human wholeness in the image of God.
Lindemuth, Rachel, "God Rising: Rebirthing God Through a Sophianic Approach and A Mystical Understanding of Christianity" (2021). Th.D. Dissertations. 17.