This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Public Administration Revealed: A Trinitarian Approach




Reyes, Maria

Type of Degree



Political Science


This is an attempt to offer a window into the good that government can do through new possibilities beyond the practical and economical. Public administration theory has been moving away from its original narrow, scientistic, technocratic orientation, but has yet to develop a solid grounding for a more humanistic, participatory model. This situation can be understood better by placing it within the context of contemporary political theory, which addresses the crisis of modernity, making us aware of our inability to make moral and political sense of our human capacities because of the limited materialistic ontology and positivistic epistemology that developed in the modern age. Recent debates within political theory point toward developments within theology as providing possible alternatives to the modern worldview, and this dissertation will examine and apply the systematic theology of Colin E. Gunton to this end. Gunton revises classical Christian theology, specifically with regard to the Trinity, to develop a model of harmonious particularity, which can be used to work out a new, broader, epistemology and ontology. This richer epistemology and ontology can be used to develop a more humanistic, participatory model of public administration, independently of the specific theological aspects of Gunton’s thought. More specifically, this model can break down the sharp distinction between politics and administration that has characterized public administration theory to allow a harmonious particularity of theory and practice.