On the Trinity: English Translation and Commentary

By Richard of Saint Victor and Ruben Angelici

Now available in English, this influential work on the doctrine of the Trinity offers fascinating insights into the medieval Augustinian tradition.

ISBN: 9780227679975


Situated on the bank of the Seine, the Victorines followed the rule of St Augustine, upholding the monastic ideal of a contemplative life dedicated to study. It was here, in the second half of the twelfth century, that Richard of St Victor wrote one of the most significant medieval works on the dogma of the Trinity, De Trinitate, printed here in English for the first time. Studies of Richard’s theology are few in number, yet his model of the central – and arguably most contentious – doctrine of Christianity was influential up until the end of the sixteenth century and widely sought after by religious houses. Following Augustine’s own treatise on the trinity, De Trinitate explores the mediating concepts on which to base faith, founded on personal experience. Comprising six books, each of twenty-five chapters, Richard develops a model to account for the three components of the Trinity, using a typical blend of reason and spirituality.

Ruben Angelici provides a translation faithful to the original intent and style of the medieval author, alongside a rich and informative commentary that sets Richard’s writings in their historical and theological context. This edition affords fascinating insight into the Augustinian-Anselmian position of the Victorines and the dogmatics of one of the most important medieval theologians.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Richard of St Victor was one of the most important spiritual writers of the twelfth century and, together with Adam of St Victor, represents the second generation of Victorine spirituality. He joined the abbey of St Victor at Paris in the early 1150s and held the position of prior from 1162 until his death in 1173. Apart from De Trinitate, his major works are De XII patriarchis and De arca mystica.

Ruben Angelici is a Graduate of the University of Manchester. He holds degrees and expertise in theology, philosophy, biology, and music. He has been a sessional lecturer in dogmatic and historical theology at Nazarene Theological College, University of Manchester.



Part One: Introduction and Commentary
The Twelfth Century Milieu and the Victorine School
The Need for a Modern, English Translation of Richard of Saint Victor’s De Trinitate
The State of the Question: General Overview of the History of Trinitarian Thought
Richard of Saint Victor: Faith, Reason, and the Analysis of the Problem of Knowledge in De Trinitate
De Trinitate: De Deo Uno
De Trinitate: De Deo Trino
Concluding Remarks

Part Two: On the Trinity
Synopsis of the Topics of the First Book
Book I
Synopsis of the Topics of the Second Book
Book II
Synopsis of the Topics of the Third Book
Book III
Synopsis of the Topics of the Fourth Book
Book IV
Synopsis of the Topics of the Fifth Book
Book V
Synopsis of the Topics of the Sixth Book
Book VI

Scripture Index
Author Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Ruben Angelici has used the Sources chrétiennes Latin text of G. Salet, and has provided an extensive introduction and commentary. … He has endeavoured to offer ‘as literal a translation … as possible, without appearing pedantic’. An English translation has long been needed and the present version is welcome for that reason.
G.R. Evans, in Journal of Theological Studies, Vol 63 (2)

[Richard of St Victor’s] writing is assured as he sets out an ambitious and systematic statement of why we affirm the nature of God as Trinity. … Scholars of this period will be grateful for the first English translation of this important work, while those less familiar with it will find that it helps them to enter into the thinking and culture of a different age
The Revd Dr John Binns, in Church Times, 21-28 December 2012

Now, thankfully, we can set those momentous reflections in context with the whole work – its theological foundations and implications, because Angelici has offered a much needed, complete edition of this important work along with helpful commentary and referencing. Perhaps now, the legacy of the Abbey of St Victor will be more widely known and celebrated.
Taylor Worley, in Theological Book Review, Vol 24, No 2

… all theologians are in Angelici’s debt.
Stephen H. Webb, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 21, No 1