Kenotic and Trinitarian Theology in Interreligious Dialogue

  • Mary Jo Curtsinger, C.S.J. Catholic Theological Union
Keywords: Interreligious, Trinitarian Christology, Spirit Christology, Kenosis, Kenotic theology, Vatican II, Nostra Aetate


The Catholic Church has made great progress in interreligious theology and affairs since the Second Vatican Council.   Yet Catholic theologian Peter Phan has asserted that most post-Conciliar theologies of religion continue to reflect fulfillment theory, i.e., of the understanding that other religions are ultimately fulfilled in Christianity.  This paper explores how the theology of interreligious dialogue of Jacques Dupuis, S.J. aligns with Phan’s tracing of a kenotic theology of religions which is genuinely Christian without relying on fulfillment theory.   It is proposed that the contours of Phan’s vision of a kenotic way of being in relationship interreligiously has been heroically fleshed out in the lives of two communities of Catholic Christians, cultures apart:  the Cistercian community of Our Lady of Atlas in Tibhirine, Algeria, led by Dom Christian de Chergé, OCSO (d. 1996) and the pastoral teams of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, led by Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia (d. 2011.)   These lives have served as signs of an ultimate Christian perspective of eschatological hope.

Author Biography

Mary Jo Curtsinger, C.S.J., Catholic Theological Union
Sister Mary Jo Curtsinger is a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph. She is currently in CTU’s Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry program with a concentration in Educating for Witness. She completed her M.Div. at CTU (1999) with a Bible concentration and Biblical Spirituality certificate, and served as program director for Biblical-Travel Study at CTU from 2000-2003, at which time she entered the novitiate of the Congregation of St. Joseph. She taught high school theology for ten years following (2005-15). Prior to this, she was a school psychologist in South Carolina public schools, and was involved in a range of parish and diocesan ministries (1982-1996). She is originally from Kentucky.