Two Aspects of Love in God's Heart in Unification Theism: Biblical Evidence

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 15, 2014 - Pages 101-114

Unification theism understands God in a new way. God is a God of “Heart” who stands as the “True Parent” of human beings. God’s Heart, which is parental, is defined as his “emotional impulse to seek joy through love.”[1] With this Heart, God treats us as his true sons and daughters, unconditionally loving us, regardless of our situation, while at the same time being delighted to love any good things realized in us. In the end God becomes joyful as out Parent, when we as his sons and daughters, his object partners of love, reflect him in some good way or other.

Traditional Christianity, of course, teaches that God is a God of love as our “Heavenly Father.” But it still seems to be asserting that while God loves us unconditionally, he does not have to be delighted with any good things realized in us, since he is in want of nothing as an absolutely sovereign, perfect God on his own. Christianity thus still seems to see some gap or distance between God and human beings, giving the impression that he may not be our True Parent completely. This may be due to the fact that traditional Christian theism, while originally intending to be biblical, was developed under the influence of the ancient Greek philosophical notion of God as a perfectly actualized, unmoved deity (e.g., Aristotle’s “unmoved mover” or “pure form,” and Neoplatonism’s eternal, transcendent, and unchanging God).

The present paper will show that God’s Heart in Unification theism is unquestionably biblical. It will also briefly discuss about Christian thinkers such as Jürgen Moltmann (1926- ) and Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948), who reference something similar to God’s Heart in Unification theism, because they are biblically grounded and want to distance themselves from the Greek notion of God.


God’s Heart

God’s Heart is essentially altruistic, living for the sake of human beings and warmly pleasing them, but it also seeks joy by loving them. Unification theism thus sees within God’s Heart two distinguishable, if inseparable, and successive aspects of love: (1) unconditionally loving and living for the sake of all humans as his sons and daughters, regardless of their merits or lack thereof, to warmly encourage and help them to eventually realize the values of beauty and goodness in themselves; and then (2) loving them in the sense of appreciating and enjoying the values they realize in themselves in response to God’s encouraging help. Both aspects of God’s love involve “joy” on his part, although joy in the former case can be called the joy of “hope,”[2] and joy in the latter the joy of “fulfillment.”[3]

What is important here is that the initial aspect of love in God’s Heart comes first, and only after that does the second aspect come. In the first aspect of love God is active as the initiator and giver of love, but in the second aspect he can be passive in that he receives and enjoys the values of goodness and beauty from his object partners of love. God, therefore, gives first and receives next, while his object partners may receive first and give next: “In the relationship between God and human beings, God gives love as the subject partner and human beings return beauty as object partners.”[4] This explains the reciprocal relationship of “give-and-take action” (or “give and receive action”)[5] between God and his object partners. Therefore, when it is stated that God is the initiator of unconditional love, it never means that he refuses to be affected by any good input from his object partners of love subsequently. On the contrary, he is affected by it and rejoices over it as their True Parent.

Sun Myung Moon often talks about the two aspects of love in God’s Heart. For example, he says regarding the first aspect as follows, high¬lighting its “unconditional,” “sacrificial,” “giving,” and “forgiving” nature:

It is a love that gives and then forgets that it has given, that is, a love that gives unconditionally. It is sacrificial love… It is a love that is even forgiving and giving to an enemy. It is a love that gives, and then keeps on giving… It is a love of unlimited giving. This was the kind of love that God bestowed on human beings at the time He created us.[6]

This unconditional love of God encourages his object partners, regardless of their merits or lack thereof, to realize values in themselves. According to Rev. Moon, therefore, it even “transforms everything, transforms ugliness into beauty and dirty smell into perfume,”[7] and “It is only His forgiveness, the giving and unconditional love of God, our parent, that can pull all peoples of the world into unity.”[8]

Regarding the second aspect of love in God’s Heart, Moon says that God loves especially human beings as his object partners in that he praises the values realized in them:

God created humans beings in such a way that… they have shared His essence and purpose. If there were prose or poetry with which God could praise human beings whom He had created in this way, it would be the greatest work of art, far beyond the level of any poets or writers of this world. The object of this praise is neither God nor all things of creation, but the representatives of all things, human beings.[9]

This second aspect of God’s love needs valuable human beings as his object partners of love:

God values human beings most. Why does He value them so? Because He needs an object partner for His love. No matter how much love He may have, He is unable to feel love without having a love partner. God can experience love only in a relationship with a partner. The reason God values human beings most is that they are His object partners whom He can love.[10]

God, however, has not been able to fulfill this second aspect of love due to the fall of Adam and Eve which made all human beings sinful and unlovable. God in the first aspect of love, of course, has always and unconditionally been loving the sinful and unlovable throughout history, hoping to be able to restore them as his sons and daughters. But he has not been able to experience the joy of fulfillment due to their continuous sinfulness. He has instead been feeling pain and suffering.[11]


Old Testament Evidence

The important Hebrew word chesed in the Old Testament, which refers to God’s love towards the people of Israel in his covenant with them, and whose English translation is usually “steadfast love,” “loving-kindness,” or “mercy,” is equivalent to God’s Heart in Unification theism in that it contains the above-mentioned two aspects of love.

First, God’s chesed is unconditionally given in spite of the continual faithlessness of the people of Israel. Regardless of their disobedience, God “is ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (chesed), and didst not forsake them” (Neh. 9:17; cf. Ex. 34:6; Ps. 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jon. 4:2; etc.). “Although the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,” nevertheless “my steadfast love (chesed) shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed” (Is. 54:10). So too, God’s “steadfast love (chesed) endures for ever” (1 Chron. 16:34, 41; 2 Chron. 5:13; 7:3, 6; 20:21; Ps. 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; etc.). It is also “forgiving” (Num. 14:19; Ps. 86:5; etc.). Thus, “thy steadfast love (chesed) is great above the heavens” (Ps. 108:4).

The second aspect of love in God’s chesed, too, is evident, because the Old Testament says that his chesed is also given to the people of Israel in return for the values of beauty and goodness they realize in themselves. God is “showing steadfast love (chesed) to thy servants who walk before thee with all their heart” (1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chron. 6:14). God is “abounding in steadfast love (chesed) to all who call on thee” (Ps. 86:5). It “is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him” (Ps. 103:17). God “keeps covenant and steadfast love (chesed) with those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deut. 7:9; Neh. 1:5; Dan. 9:4; cf. Ex. 20:6; Deut. 5:10). God loves those who realize these values. Hence “those of blameless ways,” “those who act faithfully,” are God’s “delight” (Prov. 11:20; 12:22), and “the prayer of the upright” is also “his delight” (Prov. 15:8). If they fail to positively respond to God, however, he suffers. When he saw much wickedness and evil in them, “the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Gen. 6:6). God even cried and shed “tears” over the plight of the people of Israel who disobeyed him (Jer. 14:17).

Norman H. Snaith (1898-1982), a British Bible and Judaica scholar, recognizes a tension between the two aspects of love in God’s chesed, because while God unconditionally loves the people of Israel in spite of their waywardness, he also passionately desires to see value and goodness in them to his delight. Snaith, however, correctly believes that both aspects are interrelated and even inseparable within the same notion of chesed, and addresses the tension by saying that even though both are each very strong, the former is “more insistent still” or “greater even” than the latter.[12] This describes the priority of the former over the latter in God’s Heart, as understood in Unification theism.[13] 

Besides chesed, the Old Testament uses several other Hebrew words for different meanings of love; one is the verb ahab, which simply means to love without any context of the covenant, as in Is. 63:9: “the Lord loves you.” Yet a discussion here of chesed alone suffices to show the nature of God’s love in the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, God is hardly the True Parent of the people of Israel, as he is called Lord. But if we know the meaning of chesed truly, we can realize that he started his covenant with the people of Israel with a parental Heart.


New Testament Evidence

The two aspects of God’s love can be found in the New Testament as well. The following celebrated passage, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16; cf. 1 Jn. 4:9), expresses God’s unconditional love. Again, God “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). This love of God is sacrificial, involving the death of Christ for us: “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Thus it encourages us also to love one another, even by sacrificing our lives for others: “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). It is also “forgiving” (Lk. 23:34; Eph. 1:7; 4:32), encouraging us also to forgive one another (Mt. 6:14; 18:21-22; Mk. 11:25; Lk. 6:37; Eph. 4:32) and love our enemies (Mt. 5:44; Lk. 6:27-30; Rom. 12:14). God’s unconditional love is also impartial: “he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mt. 5:45).

However, after human beings receive this unconditional love of God, they are encouraged to realize the values of beauty and goodness in themselves, and God loves those who realize these values. According to the Gospel of John, for example, if human beings realize these values by loving Jesus and keeping his word, then God loves them: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him” (Jn. 14:23; cf. 14:21; 12:26). God also loves the generous character of those who want to give: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). If we forgive others their trespasses, God will love us, by forgiving us also (Mt. 6:14; Mk. 11:25; Lk. 6:37). If we love our enemies, God will love us, by giving us the “reward” of being “sons of the Most High” (Lk. 6:35). This second aspect of God’s love involves joy on his part, because he delights in the values of his object partners of love. This is why Jesus says in his parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin that God will feel “joy” over even one sinner who repents (Lk. 15:7, 10). In his parable of the prodigal son as well, Jesus says that the return of the prodigal son after his repentance makes his father (symbolizing God) “merry” and “glad” (Lk. 15: 32).

Human beings’ failure to positively respond to God’s will, however, makes God suffer. For example, when the rebellion of the people of Israel against Jesus made Jesus suffer (Mt. 23:37) and weep (Lk. 19:41-44), this meant God’s own suffering. For Jesus said: “I am in the Father and the Father in me” (Jn. 14:11).


Nygren’s Mistake

In spite of the undeniable biblical witness to God’s love having these two inseparable, if distinguishable, aspects, Anders Nygren (1890-1978) sharply separates them from each other to maintain that God’s love only consists in the former (unconditional love) and has nothing to do with the latter (appreciative love). According to the Swedish Lutheran theologian, appreciative love is not of God, but belongs to the human ego in want of something. In his influential book, Agape and Eros,[14] Nygren calls the two kinds of love agape and eros and determines that they are antithetical. He asserts that while agape is “overflowing,” “unmotivated,” “indifferent to value” and “sacrificial,” eros is “evoked,” “motivated,” “acquisitive” and “egocentric.”[15] He concludes that the latter does not belong to God, who is absolute and sovereign.

Many may be unaware of the fact that before he began his work on theology and historical theology, Nygren for more than a decade had been quite seriously engaged in the philosophy of religion. It had led him to give priority to the discussion of fundamental, formal categories of religion such as eternity and fellowship.[16] It was in response to these categorical questions of religion that he came up with three different motifs in history: agape in Christianity, eros in the Hellenistic civilization, and nomos (law) in Judaism.[17] He believed that these three motifs clash with one another in the course of history, and naturally he as a Christian was strongly in favor of the agape motif. It was on this schema of three conflicting motifs that Nygren based his approach to the Bible.

This had at least two undesirable consequences. First, it led him to ignore what Martin Luther correctly acknowledged as the proper role of nomos, that the Law was the necessary background for the Gospel. Hence Nygren ignored the importance of the Old Testament and only focused on the New. His book, Agape and Eros, therefore, has no real treatment of the Old Testament. For this reason, he could not appreciate the profound meaning of chesed in the Old Testament.

Second, when reading the New Testament, Nygren already presupposed that its motif is agape and not eros. Thus he could not recognize that the New Testament speaks of the two aspects of God’s love together, i.e., that the New Testament actually shows that God’s love is evoked, motivated, and acquisitive (though not egocentric) as well as overflowing, unmotivated, indifferent to value, and sacrificial.

Because of the above two points, critics such as Gustaf Wingren (1910-2000), the successor of Nygren as professor of theology and ethics at the University of Lund, say that Nygren’s position is hardly biblical. In the words of Wingren, “the method of approach in Nygren’s theology clashes with the content of scripture,”[18] and “It is his very method of approach to the historical material [i.e., the Bible] that makes a correct interpretation of it impossible.”[19]

By the way, when the New Testament describes the evoked and motivated side of God’s love, which strictly speaking should be called God’s eros according to Nygren’s definition, it does not use the word eros but agapao (the verb form of agape), as in Jn. 14: 21, 23 and 2 Cor. 9:7. In fact, the New Testament never uses the word eros to describe any kind of love, whether from God or from humans. It mostly uses agape, and sometimes philia (brotherly love), whether in noun or verb form. Therefore agape covers the meaning of eros as well; and philia, while it may still retain its brotherliness in some sense, is interchangeable with agape, thus containing the meaning of eros as well (as in Jn. 16:27 where God’s phileo, the verb form of philia, is described as evoked by the values of Jesus’ disciples). Thus Nygren’s very narrow view of agape never reflects the New Testament’s whole picture of love.

It is noteworthy that Nygren himself is actually aware that the Johannine literature in particular does not easily agree with him.[20] For one thing, the Gospel of John states that God loves (agapao) Jesus (Jn. 3:35; 15:9; 17:23-24). Whereas God’s agape according to Nygren is unmotivated and therefore should only be given to the sinful and unlovable, here John apparently means that it is given to Jesus who is sinless, lovable, and valuable. It thus seems to mean God’s motivated eros. Nygren therefore blames John for having been influenced by the Hellenistic idea of eros.[21]

Yet it would be more reasonable to say that it is ironically Nygren himself who is Hellenistic, because his understanding of God’s agape is well suited to the Hellenistic, Greek philosophical notion of God as an absolute and sovereign deity who is not acted upon by the world. When Nygren says that God’s unmotivated agape is “sovereign,”[22] and that God is none other than “the sovereign Lord who has absolute authority over the ego,”[23] this God does not so much resemble the God of the Bible as Aristotle’s “unmoved mover” or Neoplatonism’s eternal, transcendent, and unchanging God.


Some Prominent Theologians on God’s Desire

Unlike Nygren, some prominent theologians are profoundly aware of the second as well as the first aspect of God’s love from the Bible. Thus they speak of God’s love as his desire or longing for his object partners of love. For example, Jürgen Moltmann, a German Reformed theologian, says that it is “God’s longing for ‘his Other’ and for that Other’s free response to the divine love,” so that he may find “bliss” in his Other that reflects the divine image.[24] This does not mean, of course, that the first aspect of God’s love is absent in his longing for his Other, since “selflessness is part of love’s nature” and “God emptied himself out of love, out of the necessity of his being, going out to his ‘Other’, the world,” in the words of Moltmann.[25]

The Russian religious thinker Nikolai Berdyaev, too, speaks of God’s love as “the inner passionate divine thirst and longing for an other self.”[26] It certainly refers to the second aspect of God’s love, but it also contains the first aspect, because, as Berdyaev says, “God reveals Himself as freedom, love, sacrifice… suffers for man and strives together with man against the falsity and wrong of the world.”[27]

What Moltmann and Berdyaev understand to be God’s love is very similar to God’s Heart in Unification theism. But both thinkers apparently learned this kind of God’s love from the seventeenth-century German Lutheran mystic Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), according to whom God’s Ungrund (Groundlesness, Abyss, or Nothing), with its infinite potentiality, freedom and will, craves and longs for something: “The Ungrund is an eternal nothing, but makes an eternal beginning as a craving. For the nothing is a craving after something.”[28] Especially Berdyaev seriously studied and published on Böhme.[29] Moltmann’s appreciative treatment of Berdyaev can be seen in his book, The Trinity and the Kingdom.[30]

The mystical theology of Böhme, as Berdyaev correctly observes,[31] is free from any influence from the Greek notion of God because the German mystic, a humble shoemaker who only studied the Bible and some works by local German visionaries such as Paracelsus (1493-1541) and Valentin Weigel (1533-1588), was never schooled to know Plato, Aristotle, Neoplatonism, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and medieval scholasticism and mysticism. This may be the reason why Böhme was able to realize based on the Bible that God’s love is a craving, a longing, a desire.

Berdyaev and Moltmann, too, are biblically grounded, distancing themselves from the Greek philosophical notion of God which influenced Christianity. Berdyaev is critical towards Aristotle: “The Aristotelian conception of God as actus purus deprives God of that interior active life, and transforms Him into a lifeless subject.”[32] In the following rather lengthy quotation, Moltmann’s criticism of Aristotle’s conception of God ignorant of the divine suffering is quite striking:

A God who cannot suffer is poorer than any man. For a God who is incapable of suffering is a being who cannot be involved. Suffering and injustice do not affect him. And because he is so completely insensitive, he cannot be affected or shaken by anything. He cannot weep, for he has no tears. But the one who cannot suffer cannot love either. So he is also a loveless being. Aristotle’s God cannot love; he can only be loved by all non-divine beings by virtue of his perfection and beauty, and in this way draw them to him. The ‘unmoved Mover’ is a ‘loveless Beloved.’[33]


Common Theological Features

There are naturally some important theological features shared in common by Unification theism, Moltmann and Berdyaev, given their common understanding that God’s love as his Heart or desire has two distinguishable, if inseparable, aspects. And these features are hardly shared by Nygren and much of traditional theism in Christianity.

First of all, they all believe that God and humans have a reciprocal relationship. It is not a one-sided one where God acts upon them but is not acted upon by them. Unification theism’s understanding of the reciprocal character of the God-humanity relationship was already briefly touched upon above. According to Moltmann, the relationship between God and humans is “reciprocal” and not one-sided, for it is “a living relationship.”[34] God, therefore, gives us his “impress,” and we in turn put our “impress” on God: “If God is love, then he does not merely emanate, flow out of himself; he also expects and needs love.”[35] In a similar vein, Berdyaev states: “God desired another self and a reciprocal answer to His love.”[36] Berdyaev also denies the one-sided relationship between God and us, by saying: “God is not the master, the lord, the commander. God’s management of the world is not an autocracy.”[37]

Second, Unification theism, Moltmann and Berdyaev all agree that God is not a God of mere simplicity but rather a God of complexity, in order that he may act and also be able to be acted upon by us. A God of simplicity, like Aristotle’s “pure form” or “unmoved mover” that is completely actualized, self-contained and in want of nothing, would not be able to receive our impress. But a God of complexity, who is in dynamic motion within himself, would be able to receive input from us. Unification theism, therefore, proposes that God is a God of the dual characteristics of Sungsang (Internal Character) and Hyungsung (External Form) centering on his Heart.[38] This Unification proposal is basically trinitarian, because God’s Heart, Sungsang, and Hyungsang constitute the Trinity in the Godhead, as the present writer has shown elsewhere.[39] Both Moltmann and Berdyaev, too, use a trinitarian way to argue for the complexity of God, by saying that God has the dual characteristics of the Father and the Son centering on his love, which is the Holy Spirit.[40] By contrast, because traditional Christianity opted for a God of simplicity under the influence of the Greek notion of God as a completely actualized, sovereign deity, it unfortunately allowed its doctrine of the Trinity to be “defeated” in favor of the simplicity of God.[41]

A third common theological feature shared by Unification theism, Moltmann and Berdyaev is the doctrine that God suffers when he cannot find the values of beauty and goodness in human beings. Elsewhere, the present writer has explained about the Unification understanding of God’s suffering.[42] It goes without saying that Moltmann and Berdyaev are well known for their assertions about a suffering God.[43]

Fourth, Unification theism, Moltmann and Berdyaev take the Bible as their primary source. When they take the Bible seriously, they are disinterested in, or even critical towards, the ancient Greek notion of God and the conventional Christian conception of God formulated largely under its influence. Unification theism is free from any Hellenistic influence, because Rev. Moon was a serious student of the Bible[44] and apparently never schooled in Greek philosophy. It is also interesting to observe that although Unification theism basically resembles the thoughts of Moltmann, Berdyaev and Böhme regarding the nature of God’s love, nevertheless apparently neither Moon, the author of the Divine Principle, nor Sung Hun Lee, the developer of Unification Thought, was familiar with these Western thinkers. What connects them all is the most important source they have in common: the Bible.

God’s Heart, as understood in Unification theism, is biblical, conveying the Bible’s whole picture of God’s love as our True Parent in a coherent and undistorted way. Although God’s Heart in Unification theism may sound new to much of Christianity, it is not actually new in that it is biblical.



[1] Unification Thought Institute, New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought (Tokyo: Kogensha, 2006), p. 23. Henceforth abbreviated as NEUT.

[2] NEUT, p. 251.

[3] Sun Myung Moon says: “Throughout history all mankind has been looking forward to the day of fulfillment when God could declare His joy and personally commemorate God’s Day and Parents Day.” See his “True Parents Day from the Historical Point of View,” a sermon delivered at Manhattan Center, New York City on April 18, 1977.

[4] Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), p. 38. Henceforth it will be abbreviated as EDP.

[5] EDP uses the term “give and take action,” while NEUT makes use of the expression “give and receive action.”

[6] Sun Myung Moon, “The Root of Peace Is in True Love,” Founder’s Address at Opening Ceremony of IIFWP Assembly on February 24, 2002.

[7] Sun Myung Moon, “Renewed Pride,” sermon delivered in Washington, D.C. on December 4, 1977.

[8] Sun Myung Moon, “The Spirit World and Physical World,” sermon delivered at Belvedere, New York on February 6, 1977.

[9] Cheon Seong Gyeong: Selections from the Speeches of True Parents (Seoul: Sunghwa Publishing, 2006), p. 94.

[10] Ibid., p. 93.

[11] NEUT, 251-57. Also see Theodore Shimmyo, “How a God of Omnipotence and Perfection Can Suffer: A Perspective from Unification Theism,” Journal of Unification Studies 13 (2012).

[12] Norman H. Snaith, “Loving-Kindness,” in A Theological Word Book of the Bible, ed. Alan Richardson (New York: Macmillan, 1951), p. 137.

[13] “The impulse to seek joy is triggered by this impulse of love: the impulse of love is primary, and the impulse of joy is secondary. Thus, love is an unconditional impulse, rather than the means of joy. The necessary result of love is joy. Thus, love and joy are two sides of a coin, and the impulse to seek joy is the impulse to seek love that has manifested” (NEUT, p. 24).

[14] Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros, trans. Philip S. Watson (London: SPCK, 1953).

[15] See his own summary list of characteristics of agape and eros in Agape and Eros, p. 210.

[16] For this, see, for example, Gustaf Wingren, Theology in Conflict: Nygren, Barth, Bultmann, trans. Eric. H. Wahlstrom (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1958), pp. 3-22.

[17] Nygren, Agape and Eros, pp. 247 ff.

[18] Wingren, Theology in Conflict, 18. For other critiques of Nygren’s doctrine of agape, see Daniel Day Williams, God’s Grace and Man’s Hope (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), pp. 67-73; Thomas Jay Oord, The Nature of Love (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2010), pp. 33-56; and Ádám Szabados, “Hellenistic Tendencies in John’s Agape? Andrew Nygren’s Shipwreck on the Rocks of 1 John.”

[19] Wingren, Theology in Conflict, p. 17.

[20] Nygren, Agape and Eros, pp. 150-59.

[21] Ibid., p. 150.

[22] Ibid., pp. 74, 92, 126, 131, 210.

[23] Ibid., p. 45.

[24] Jürgen Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, trans. Margaret Kohl (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993), p. 106.

[25] Ibid., pp. 106-7.

[26] Nikolai Berdyaev, The Meaning of History, trans. George Reavey (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936), p. 8.

[27] Nikolai Berdyaev, Slavery and Freedom, trans. R. M. French (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1944), p. 89.

[28] Jakob Böhme, Fundamental Statement Concerning Earthly and Heavenly Mystery.||BOHEME,%20JACOB||&type=&what=author.

[29] At least two of these studies can be seen online: Nikolai Berdyaev, “Studies Concerning Jacob Boehme: Etude I. The Teaching about the Ungrund and Freedom,” originally published in Journal Put’ 20 (1930): 47-79, trans. S. Janos. Also “Studies Concerning Jacob Boehme: Etude II. The Teaching about Sophia and the Androgyne: J. Boehme and the Russian Sophiological Current,” originally published in Journal Put’ 21 (1930): 34-62, trans. S. Janos.

[30] Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, pp. 42-47.

[31] Berdyaev, “Studies Concerning Jacob Boehme: Etude I. The Teaching about the Ungrund and Freedom.”

[32] Nikolai Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man, trans. Natalie Duddington (London: The Century Press, 1937), p. 1.

[33] Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, trans. R. A. Wilson and John Bowden (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), p. 222.

[34] Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, p. 98.

[35] Ibid., p. 99.

[36] Nikolai Berdyaev, Freedom and the Spirit, trans. Oliver Fielding Clarke (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1935), p. 21.

[37] Nikolai Berdyaev, The Meaning of the Creative Act, trans. Donald A. Lowrie (London: V. Gollancz, 1955), p. 126.

[38] NEUT, pp. 2-12.

[39] Theodore Shimmyo, “The Unification Doctrine of the Trinity,” Journal of Unification Studies 2 (1998): 1-17.

[40] Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom; Berdyaev, The Meaning of History.

[41] Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991). See Part One: “The Emergence and Defeat of the Doctrine of the Trinity.”

[42] Theodore Shimmyo, “How a God of Omnipotence and Perfection Can Suffer: A Perspective from Unification Theism,” Journal of Unification Studies 13 (2012): 33-72.

[43] Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God and The Trinity and the Kingdom. For Berdyaev’s understanding of God’s suffering, see especially his The Meaning of History.

[44] Cf. Theodore Shimmyo, “Sun Myung Moon’s Approach to the Bible,” Journal of Unification Studies 14 (2013): 1-22.