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(ad se)', while what is distinct is applicable to each as related to the others (ad invicem).34 Thus, the attributes of the divine nature, such as wisdom and power, are applicable to each of the persons 'of itself (ad se)' but the names of the persons refer to relations within the Godhead.

In his inference from unity of activity to unity of essence, as well as in his attempts to articulate terminological boundaries between what is common in the divine nature and what is distinguished through the mutual relations, Augustine is simply exemplifying the prevailing pro-Nicene theology of both East and West that developed in the second half of the fourth century. Augustine's individual genius is more apparent in two other doctrines that have had a powerful impact in the Western tradition, his characterisation of the Holy Spirit and of the Trinitarian image in the human being. In both cases, Augustine adapted elements already found in the Western tradition but gave them a much more forceful presentation.

With regard to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Augustine's biblical exegesis, prompted by earlier interpretations by Hilary of Poitiers, led him to characterise the Spirit as 'gift (donum)' (cf. John 4.10, Acts 8.20) and as divine 'love' (cf. Romans 5.5). It is these two characterisations that condition Augustine's teaching on the double procession of the Spirit: the Spirit's procession is the mutual love ofFather and Son poured out as Divine Gift. Yet, Augustine is also clear that the Father is the 'first principle' of this procession; the Son derives his being a co-principle from the Father and so is principium de principio.35

Like his teaching on the double procession of the Spirit, Augustine's doctrine of the Trinitarian image in humanity has become one of the more prominent markers that distinguish the Western tradition of Trinitarian reflection from that of the East. Yet, the starting point for Augustine's reflection on the Trinitarian image in humanity has some affinities with the theological posture of the Cappadocians. Augustine too placed great emphasis on the incomprehensibility and incomparability of God, and on knowledge of God as attainable only through relationship and participation in the divine life. The challenge for Trinitarian faith is to believe in the triune God even while we have no conception of anything else that is triune in the same way.

Augustine's project is not so much to construct an objective analogical representation of divine triunity as to find a way to enter into relationship with the triune God, a way that extends from our immanent experience into the unfathomable mystery of God: 'What we are asking, though, is from what

34 Augustine, Trin. 5.11.12.

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