The Place of the Spirit: Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Location

By Sarah Morice-Brubaker

An imaginative exploration of how the concepts of ‘place’ and ‘location’ can be meaningfully applied to our understanding of the Trinity.

ISBN: 9780227174371


Is there any way to talk theologically about the Trinity and place? What might the “placedness” of creation have to do with God’s triunity? In The Place of the Spirit, Sarah Morice-Brubaker considers how anxieties about place have influenced Trinitarian theology – both what it is asked to do and the language in which it is expressed.

When one is nervous about collapsing God into created horizons, she suggests, one is apt to come up with a model of Trinity that refuses place. Distance becomes a primary way of situating the divine persons in relation to each other. Conversely, theologians who wish to avoid a too-remote God likewise recruit Trinitarian language to suit that purpose. They, too, use language that encourages the importance of place, expressing triunity in terms of coinherence and mutual indwelling. And yet, suggests Morice-Brubaker, the question, “What is place, and how can one talk about God and place?” is underdetermined within much contemporary Trinitarian thought. Thankfully, this question has received full-on attention in other areas of ethics, philosophy, and systematic theology. The Place of the Spirit calls for Trinitarian thought to avail itself of those insights and offers some ways in which it may do so.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Sarah Morice-Brubaker is an Assistant Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Foreword by Cyril O’Regan

1. Placing the Question
2. Patristic Precedents
3. Moltmann’s Perichoretic Spaces for God and Creation
4. No Place for the Spirit? Jean-Luc Marion’s Placial Refusal
5. Notes Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Place



Endorsements and Reviews

Sarah Morice-Brubaker draws unexpected insights from patristic theologians and brilliantly examines Marion and Moltmann en route to a conceptually powerful and gracefully written Trinitarian theology of place. This is contemporary theology at its very best: imaginative, bold, and on the cutting edge, yet also rigorous, thoughtful, and grounded in tradition.
Gerald McKenny, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Sarah Morice-Brubaker enters the current conversation about place and asks where God is in all of this. Her brilliant work explicitly intertwines philosophy, theology, and theory; the related ethical issues shimmer on the page. Morice-Brubaker offers a stunning analysis of different conceptions of place and their epistemological implications, while constructing the sturdy theological argument that God places us. After reading this book, I find myself thinking differently about location, the Trinity, and thinking itself.
Shannon Craigo-Snell, Professor of Theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Morice-Brubaker’s work is a wonderful example of ressourcement. She offers a thoughtful, experimental contemporary theological work grounded in the tradition [of patristic Trinitarian theology].
Mark S. Medley, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 22:3