Theological Symposium:

The Trinity and the images of God perceived from the perspective of various theological disciplines


The meeting of teachers from Jesuit faculties of theology in Europe

ECCC Warszawa-Falenica, Collegium Bobolanum, 5th-8th of July 2020


The Vision

If the theology shaped by the Ignatian tradition is to make its mark in Europe, the institutions that practice theology in this way must at least be aware of each other and their faculty members should be in touch. With this in mind, we invite you to this third meeting. Similarly to the Paris meeting in 2015 and the Frankfurt meeting in 2018, the 2020 conference in Falenica has the same two main objectives:

  • to enable faculty members to get to know each other, both personally and professionally

  • to foster and promote theological awareness marked by the Ignatian tradition.


The Topic: The Trinity and the images of God perceived from the perspective of various theological disciplines

The Christian concept of one God as the Holy Trinity has always been a source of misunderstandings and contestation. Even today, in some books on Christian theology one can read: “If God were conceived as single, simple, spiritual, conscious, intelligent, and sovereignly free subject, this characterization of God would of itself account for God’s real self-communication to Jesus and each human being”. This reflects criticism coming from other religions, especially from Islam. Certainly, we cannot be Christians without confessing that the Unique God is the communion of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But perhaps in the new cultural and religious context in Europe, marked by secularisation on the one hand and religious pluralism on the other, the image of oneness of God, Creator of heaven and earth, characteristic in the past for the treaty De Deo Uno, should be put once again in the centre instead of the doctrine of the Trinity? Let us ask ourselves whether the concept of God as the Trinity is present in our theological reflection and teaching? Moreover, what are the images of God that we work with in our respective disciplines: scripture, fundamental and dogmatic theology, theology of religions, moral, pastoral and catechetical theology, liturgy or spirituality? Finally, is it always the image of God as the Trinity?

The third symposium of theologians from different Jesuit institutions in Europe follows the very successful meetings in Paris and in Frankfurt. The general goal of these gatherings is not only to share ideas about theology, but also to deepen the bonds we have, both institutional and personal, as friends in the Lord.

We will gather not only from different places but also from different disciplines. All Christian theologians have something to say about God: biblical scholars, systematic, moral and practical theologians.

We will have some keynote speakers, but the meeting is by design interactive and participative. Therefore, all participants are asked to make a 5-7 minute contribution which will be presented in small workshop groups.


Time and Place

European Centre of Culture and Communication (ECCC, eccc.pl) Warszawa-Falenica, Collegium Bobolanum (bobolanum.edu.pl), 5th-8th July 2020



At least passive knowledge of English is expected of all participants. Formal presentations will be supported by written text. French and Spanish can be used in discussions and in small language groups.


Number of Participants

between 20 and 25 people (2-4 per centre)



Zbigniew Kubacki, S.J., Dariusz Gardocki, S.J. (Collegium Bobolanum, Warsaw)



- 5th July (Sunday): arrivals, time to settle in and sightseeing

- 6nd July (Monday): Two Position Papers

We will have the opportunity to listen to two scholars who will present some initial reflections on the Trinity and the images of God: a systematic theologian (Serafín Béjar – Facultad de Theologia de Granada) and an exegete (Jerzy Seremak SJ – Collegium Bobolanum, Warsaw). The systematic theologian will try to help us understand how the trinitarian God can be legitimate in dialogue with modernity. The exegete will try to present the image of God from the perspective of the Old Testament. Both presentations will be followed by discussion.

The afternoon will be devoted to workgroups. Their aim is to deepen individual reflection on various issues related to the topic of the Symposium.

- 7th July (Tuesday): Workgroups

At the beginning of the day, the results of the working groups will be presented to the audience and discussed at the plenary session.

Afterwards, a dogmatic theologian (Dariusz Kowalczyk SJ – Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma) will present a contemporary reflection on the theme: The Trinity and Divine Mercy.

In the afternoon, we will first visit the Museum of the History of Polish Jews “POLIN”. Then we will take a short walk through the Old Town and finish in a restaurant.

- 8th July (Wednesday): Concluding meeting

The final reflection will sum up the work of the keynote speakers and working groups. A plenary reflection will highlight the main topics and propose some perspectives for the further research and learning.

Next, we will discuss how helpful such a meeting can be. Should we continue? If so, where, when, and what?

Finally, we will celebrate the Eucharist in the ECCC Chapel.

Lunch, followed by some free time in Falenica-Warsaw and departures.



Sunday, 5th July

18.00 onwards

Arrival at the ECCC Falenica (see detailed route description)


Buffet Supper—perhaps participants might bring something additional from their countries that could be shared round

Introducing ourselves



Monday, 6th July


Introduction to the Symposium


Serafín Béjar, The trinitarian God and the flesh: A theological and soteriological approach.

NB: the formal presentations will last around 30-35 minutes with an additional 30 minutes for discussion.


Coffee break


Jerzy Seremak SJ, Vestiges of the Trinity in the Old Testament: The Name of God.




Assemble directly in language groups: English, French /English, Spanish /English, English /Spanish, French.

· Start by taking an hour to talk about the communication texts written by participants (authors might like to recapitulate; others can react, ask for clarification, raise questions etc.)

· After a break, the group can then choose one of these texts that seems particularly interesting, working at it in greater depth to bring out the questions it raises. Two members of the group will present the text: its author, and one other member, whose job it is to summarize the exchanges.


Mass in the chapel of ECCC



Tuesday, 7th July      A day in small group workshops


Plenary, with reports back from each sub-group (15 minutes each)




Dariusz Kowalczyk SJ, Trinity and Divine Mercy.

Presentation and discussion



Mass in the Chapel ECCC



Trip to Warsaw


Visit of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews


Walk through the Old Town


Dinner at a Restaurant in Warsaw

Wednesday, 8th July


Plenary discussion: What are the issues about Trinity and the images of God that particularly need to be readdressed today? And how? (First, we discus in small groups of 3 people for about 20 minutes, then the speaker of each group gives the summary in the grand assembly).




Evaluation of the symposium. How to continue with this sort of gathering?


Ending ceremony in the Chapel






In a Nutshell

The third Theological Symposium aims to bring together all theologians of our Jesuit Faculties of Theology in Europe, who would be ready to share their reflections and research related to the concept of the Trinity and the images of God with others. Everyone can find their place: biblical scholars, dogmatic theologians, specialists in spirituality or moral theology, as well as those whose reflection is carried out from a pastoral point of view. The symposium offers also an opportunity to get to know each other and spend time not only on working together, but also on having a good time as friends in the Lord.



In addition to the keynote speeches, we will operate in groups using two languages (English/French or English/Spanish). Each participant is asked to contribute a 5 to 7 minutes reflection (approximately 1000 words). Language issues are discussed in the form below.



250 Euro, including accommodation (3 nights), meals and entry fees (to be paid in cash or by bank transfer).


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