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Summary Christianity claims that there is a God and that he is or consists of three persons. There is a range of views: some take the three persons to be nearly identical or to be three aspects of the one God, others take the three persons to be three distinct persons who form a unity which makes it right to say that there is one God. The texts in this category discuss how the doctrine of the trinity is to be spelled out.
Key works Davis et al 1999 contains recent articles about the trinity. Swinburne 1994 contains a social theory of the trinity. Brower & Rea 2005 discusses material constitution and the trinity.
Introductions Rea 2009
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Siblings:See also:History/traditions: The Trinity
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  1. B. W. A. (1981). Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity. Review of Metaphysics 35 (1):117-118.
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  2. B. W. A. (1979). The Twelve Patriarchs, the Mystical Ark, Book Three of the Trinity. Review of Metaphysics 33 (2):445-447.
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  3. David Reynolds Adams (1991). The Doctrine of Divine Person Considered Both Historically and in the Contemporary Theologies of Karl Barth and Juergen Moltmann. Dissertation, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology
    This dissertation is an analysis of the concept of divine Person. It is discussed both in its historical development, and in the twentieth century theologies of Karl Barth and Jurgen Moltmann. This historic overview is structured towards a coherent systematic theological overview. The first part is a broad historical analysis of the establishment of the doctrine of the Trinity. It considers the doctrinal development of the concept of divine Person from the unsystematic trinitarian belief of the Early Church through the (...)
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  4. Marilyn McCord Adams (2008). The Metaphysics of the Trinity in Some Fourteenth Century Franciscans. Franciscan Studies 66 (1):101 - 168.
  5. Khalil Yahyá ibn Adi & Samir (1980). Maqalah Fi Al-Tawhid. Al-Maktabah Al-Bulusiyah.
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  6. José Tomás Alvarado Marambio (2013). Recent theories of the Trinity. Veritas: Revista de Filosofia da PUCRS 29:189-217.
    Este trabajo presenta y discute diferentes intentos recientes para resolver el así llamado «problema de la Trinidad». Las declaraciones dogmáticas han asumido que (a) sólo hay un Dios; (b) que hay tres personas diferentes, el Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo; y (c) que esas tres personas son un solo Dios. Pero si hay tres personas diferentes y esas tres personas diferentes son Dios, entonces parece que, o bien no hay un único Dios, o no hay realmente tres personas (...)
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  7. James Anderson (2005). In Defence of Mystery: A Reply to Dale Tuggy. Religious Studies 41 (2):145-163.
    In a recent article, Dale Tuggy argues that the two most favoured approaches to explicating the doctrine of the Trinity, Social Trinitarianism and Latin Trinitarianism, are unsatisfactory on either logical or biblical grounds. Moreover, he contends that appealing to ‘mystery’ in the face of apparent contradiction is rationally and theologically unacceptable. I raise some critical questions about Tuggy's assessment of the most relevant biblical data, before defending against his objections the rationality of an appeal to mystery in the face of (...)
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  8. Maria Rosa Antognazza (2001). Leibniz de Deo Trino: Philosophical Aspects of Leibniz's Conception of the Trinity. Religious Studies 37 (1):1-13.
    This paper discusses Leibniz's Trinitarian doctrine in the light of his philosophy, as revealed by a set of virtually unstudied texts. The first part of the paper examines Leibniz's defence of the Trinity against the charge of contradiction as a necessary precondition to the development of his own conception of the Trinity. The second part discusses some of the key features of Leibniz's Trinitarian doctrine, notably his conception of person, the analogy between the human mind and the Trinity, and the (...)
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  9. Maria Rosa Antognazza (2001). The Defence of the Mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation: An Example of Leibniz's 'Other' Reason. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (2):283 – 309.
    In this paper I will discuss certain aspects of Leibniz's theory and practice of 'soft reasoning' as exemplified by his defence of two central mysteries of the Christian revelation: the Trinity and the Incarnation. By theory and practice of 'soft' or 'broad' reasoning, I mean the development of rational strategies which can successefully be applied to the many areas of human understanding which escape strict demonstration, that is, the 'hard' or 'narrow' reasoning typical of mathematical argumentation. These strategies disclose an (...)
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  10. Augustine (1963). The Trinity. Catholic University of America Press.
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  11. Gareth B. Augustine & Matthews (2002). On the Trinity. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  12. Maximus Augustine, Manoles Planudes, Isavella Papathomopoulos, Gianpaolo Tsavare & Rigotti (1995). Augoustinou Peri Triados Vivlia Pentekaideka.
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  13. Lewis Ayres (2011). Augustine and the Trinity. Augustinian Studies 42 (1):87 - 90.
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  14. William S. Babcock (1991). A Changing of the Christian God The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Seventeenth Century. Interpretation 45 (2):133-146.
    In the interval between the time of the Reformation and today, large numbers of Christians seem quietly to have shifted their allegiance from one God to another, leaving themselves with the doctrine of the Trinity but no longer retaining the God whom it adumbrates.
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  15. H. E. Baber (2008). Trinity, Filioque and Semantic Ascent. Sophia 47 (2):149 - 160.
    It is difficult to reconcile claims about the Father's role as the progenitor of Trinitarian Persons with commitment to the equality of the persons, a problem that is especially acute for Social Trinitarians. I propose a metatheological account of the doctrine of the Trinity that facilitates the reconciliation of these two claims. On the proposed account, ‘Father’ is systematically ambiguous. Within economic contexts, those which characterize God's relation to the world, ‘Father’ refers to the First Person of the Trinity; within (...)
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  16. Allan Bäck (1998). Scotus on the Consistency of the Incarnation and the Trinity. Vivarium 36 (1):83-107.
    Medieval theologians discussed the logical structure of reduplicative propositions in the midst of their discussions of the Incarnation and the Trinity. Aquinas has the usual medieval analyzes of reduplicative propositions: the specificative and the strictly reduplicative. But neither analysis resolves successfully the problems of the consistency of the statements about God while avoiding making the Trinity or the Incarnation a merely accidental feature of Him. However, Scotus introduces another analysis: abstractive. I shall conclude that Scotus’s view of reduplication, one, if (...)
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  17. John Barresi (2006). On Earth As It Is in Heaven: Trinitarian Influences on Locke's Account of Personal Identity. The Pluralist 1 (1):110 - 128.
    Locke’s concepts of person and self as they first appeared in the 1694 essay were not original to him but had already appeared in the Trinitarian controversy in England in the early 1690s. In particular, William Sherlock, who in 1690 argued that the Trinity might be understood as composed of three distinct self-conscious minds or persons in one God, previously used not only concepts but also phrases that Locke used in his definition of person. Both Sherlock and Locke defined person (...)
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  18. Timothy W. Bartel (1988). The Plight of the Relative Trinitarian. Religious Studies 24 (2):129 - 155.
    SOME PHILOSOPHERS RESORT TO RELATIVE IDENTITY IN ORDER TO DEFEND THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY AGAINST ACCUSATIONS OF INCOHERENCE: THEY CLAIM THAT FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT ARE NUMERICALLY THE SAME DEITY BUT ALSO NUMERICALLY DISTINCT PERSONS. I ARGUE THAT THEIR CLAIM IS EITHER INCOHERENT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO MOTIVATE. I ALSO ARGUE THAT THE SOCIAL INTERPRETATION OF THE TRINITY, ACCORDING TO WHICH FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT ARE DISTINCT "SIMPLICITER", IS NOT OBVIOUSLY UNORTHODOX.
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  19. Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt (2007). The Trinity. In David Matzko McCarthy & M. Therese Lysaught (eds.), Gathered for the Journey: Moral Theology in Catholic Perspective. William B. Eerdmans Pub.
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  20. Werner Beierwaltes (1994). Unity and Trinity in Dionysius and Eriugena. Hermathena 157:1 - 20.
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  21. Henri Beunders (2008). Fortuyn, Van Gogh, Hirsi Ali: Why the Unholy Trinity Was Driven Out of the Netherlands. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 15 (1):201-219.
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  22. John Bligh & J. S. (1960). Richard of St Victor's de Trinitate: Augustinian or Abelardian? Heythrop Journal 1 (2):118–139.
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  23. Donald G. Bloesch (2001). The Battle for the Trinity the Debate Over Inclusive God-Language.
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  24. Paul Richard Blum (2004). Trinity and Triangle -- Giordano Bruno's Secularizing of the Cusanian Trinity. Soter 14 (42):41 - 48.
    Nicholas of Cusa (1402-1464) explored the boundaries of human reason for the sake of making religious belief believable. Unwillingly, he became a milestone in the process of rationalizing Christian theology. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) is a proof to this perspective by the way he makes use of Cusanus’s approach. In his ’Spaccio de la bestia trionfante’, Bruno discusses Cusanus’s attempts at the geometrical problem of squaring the circle. Bruno not only promotes his atomistic geometry, he also uses the metaphoric meaning of (...)
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  25. Boethius, The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods.
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  26. Arthur Boutwood (1919). Stewart A. McDowall, Evolution and the Doctrine of the Trinity. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 18:201.
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  27. Gregory Boyd (1992). Trinity and Process: A Critical Evaluation and Reconstruction of Hartshorne's di- Polar Theism Towards a Trinitarian Metaphysics. Lang.
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  28. Bracken (1978). Process Philosophy and Trinitarian Theology. Process Studies 8 (4):217 - 230.
    RECENT THEOLOGICAL SPECULATION ON THE TRINITY HAS CONCEIVED THE DIVINE NATURE AS AN INTERPERSONAL PROCESS. WHITEHEADIAN PHILOSOPHY MAY POSSIBLY BE USEFUL HERE. ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT NOT ONLY ACTUAL ENTITIES, BUT LIKEWISE WHITEHEADIAN SOCIETIES POSSESS AN ONTOLOGICAL UNITY AND EXERCISE AN AGENCY PROPER TO THEMSELVES, THEN THE TRINITY MAY BE VIEWED AS A DEMOCRATICALLY ORGANIZED STRUCTURED SOCIETY WITH EACH OF THE DIVINE PERSONS AS A SUBORDINATE PERSONALLY ORDERED SOCIETY OF ACTUAL OCCASIONS.
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  29. Joseph A. Bracken & J. S. (1974). The Holy Trinity as a Community of Divine Persons, I. Heythrop Journal 15 (2):166–182.
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  30. Joseph A. Bracken & J. S. (1974). The Holy Trinity as a Community of Divine Persons, II Person and Nature in the Doctrine of God. Heythrop Journal 15 (3):257–270.
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  31. Jeffrey Brower (2004). Trinity. In The Cambridge Companion to Abelard. Cambridge Univ Pr
    This article provides a sympathetic treatment of Abelard’s account of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. It argues that the key to Abelard’s account lies in his ingenious defense of a form of numerical sameness without identity--a relation whose application to the Trinity he justifies on the grounds that it must be invoked to explain familiar cases of material constitution. The conclusion is that, although Abelard’s discussion provides the resources to establish the coherence of the Trinity, his attempt to reconcile (...)
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  32. Jeffrey E. Brower (2004). The Problem with Social Trinitarianism: A Reply to Wierenga. Faith and Philosophy 21 (3):295-303.
    In a recent article, Edward Wierenga defends a version of Social Trinitarianism according to which the Persons of the Trinity form a unique society of really distinct divine beings, each of whom has its own exemplification of divinity. In this paper, I call attention to several philosophical and theological difficulties with Wierenga’s account, as well as to a problem that such difficulties pose for Social Trinitarianism generally. I then briefly suggest what I take to be a more promising approach to (...)
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  33. Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael Rea (2005). Material Constitution and the Trinity. Faith and Philosophy 22 (1):57-76.
    The Christian doctrine of the Trinity poses a serious philosophical problem. On the one hand, it seems to imply that there is exactly one divine being; on the other hand, it seems to imply that there are three. There is another well-known philosophical problem that presents us with a similar sort of tension: the problem of material constitution. We argue in this paper that a relatively neglected solution to the problem of material constitution can be developed into a novel solution (...)
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  34. Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael Rea (2004). Understanding the Trinity. Logos 8 (1):145-157.
    The doctrine of the Trinity poses a deep and difficult problem. On the one hand, it says that there are three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and that each of these Persons “is God”. On the other hand, it says that there is one and only one God. So it appears to involve a contradiction. It seems to say that there is exactly one divine being, and also that there is more than one. How are we to make sense of (...)
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  35. David Brown (1999). Colin E. Gunton the Triune Creator: A Historical and Systematic Study. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998). Pp.×+246. £14.95 Pbk. [REVIEW] Religious Studies 35 (4):493-504.
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  36. Barry Brummett (1995). Kenneth Burke's Symbolic Trinity. Philosophy and Rhetoric 28 (3):234-251.
    The essay charts some relationships among rhetoric, philosophy, and poetics in the major theoretical works by Kenneth Burke. Each is examined as a type of discourse, as a species of symbolic action, and as a term for order. The three are distinguished as different ways to order human experience. Ambiguity and interrelationships among the three are analyzed pentadically to show that Burke�s own work treats rhetoric, philosophy and poetics in terms of agent-act, purpose-agency, and scene.
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  37. Giorgio Buccellati (2012). The Trinity in a Mesopotamian Perspective. Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 104 (1):29-48.
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  38. James J. Buckley (1984). Re-Trieving Trinitarian Teaching: A Review Discussion. The Thomist 48 (2):274 - 296.
    WILLIAM J HILL’S "THE THREE-PERSONED GOD" (WASHINGTON, D. C., L 1982) PROVIDES THE OCCASION FOR EVALUATING RECENT WORK ON THE TRINITY. THERE ARE A VARIETY OF PRACTICAL CONTEXTS FOR TRINITARIAN DISCOURSE, BUT THE MOST CHALLENGING CONTEXT IS WHEN TRINITARIANS MAKE TRUTH-CLAIMS. HOWEVER, THE KEY PROBLEMS IN DOING THIS ARE RELATING WHAT AND HOW WE KNOW GOD AS TRIUNE, GOD "IN SE" AND "AD EXTRA", BEING AND ACTING, THEOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY. "NARRATIVE" AND "AGENCY" ARE PROPOSED AS THE KEY TO THE SOLUTION.
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  39. Aurea Marin Burocchi (2012). Deus Trindade (God as a Trinity). DOI: 10.5752/P. 2175-5841.2012 v10n26p522. Horizonte 10 (26):522-537.
    A novidade do Deus cristão apresentado por Jesus Cristo é a Trindade. Sem contradizer o monoteísmo judeu, a reflexão para formulação dogmática se estendeu por quatro séculos. Sucessivamente, a Trindade foi tema esquecido na Igreja por 1.600 anos. Sua importância está sendo redescoberta não somente na liturgia, mas, também, na vida e na reflexão eclesial. A unidade no amor dos Três distintos, Pai, Filho e Espírito Santo, estimula a espiritualidade e a vivência do cristão de hoje. Para tanto, é necessário (...)
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  40. Oleg V. Bychkov (2008). What Does Beauty Have to Do with the Trinity? From Augustine to Duns Scotus. Franciscan Studies 66 (1):197 - 212.
    The issue of why God, the Trinity and Christ in Christianity can be called "beautiful" has been muddled in literature on theological aesthetics. John Duns Scotus’s detailed discussion of relations within the Trinity helps resolve this issue. The Trinity can be called "beautiful" in at least three senses, depending on whether one considers Trinitarian relations at all, whether one looks at the relation of equality, or whether one analyzes relations of origin.
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  41. Sarah Byers (2003). On the Trinity: Books 8-15. [REVIEW] The Medieval Review 10.
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  42. James Cain (2006). Trinity and Consistency. Faith and Philosophy 23 (1):45-54.
    P. T. Geach has argued that it is impossible to demonstrate that the doctrine of the Trinity is consistent. I try to show why -- on a common understanding of the notion of consistency -- his reasoning is flawed and why, on Geach’s own principles, one should expect that if the doctrine of the Trinity is true then it will be possible to prove that the doctrine is consistent, and it will be possible to do this in a way that (...)
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  43. James Cain (1989). The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Logic of Relative Identity. Religious Studies 25 (2):141 - 152.
    I EXPLORE ONE WAY IN WHICH THE THEORY OF RELATIVE IDENTITY (DEVELOPED ALONG LINES SUGGESTED BY GEACH’S WRITINGS) CAN BE USED TO UNDERSTAND THE WAY LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS IN TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE. THIS INCLUDES A DISCUSSION OF REDUPLICATIVE PROPOSITIONS.
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  44. Stratford Caldecott (2011). Liturgy, Trinity, and Time. The Chesterton Review 37 (1-2):244-257.
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  45. Stratford Caldecott (2011). Liturgy, Trinity, and Time. The Chesterton Review 37 (1-2):244-257.
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  46. Stratford Caldecott (2011). Liturgy, Trinity, and Time. The Chesterton Review 37 (1-2):244-257.
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  47. Stratford Caldecott (2011). Liturgy, Trinity, and Time. The Chesterton Review 37 (1-2):244-257.
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  48. Stratford Caldecott (1993). Trinity and Society. The Chesterton Review 19 (4):463-489.
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  49. Maria Calisi (1997). Bonaventure's Metaphysics of Self-Diffusive Goodness and of Exemplarity as a Resource for Feminist Trinitarian Theology. Dissertation, Fordham University
    In recent years a growing awareness has emerged concerning the patriarchal aspect of the trinitarian doctrine. The literal and exclusive use of male metaphors and images in theological discourse and in liturgy has led to the impression that God is male and that maleness is normative for what it means to be a human being, i.e., androcentrism. Many feminist theologians have responded to this problem by proposing alternative gender-inclusive and gender-neutral trinitarian formulas. ;This dissertation offers to feminist theologians and liturgists (...)
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  50. Patricia Marie Calton (2001). Hegel's Metaphysics of God: The Ontological Proof of a Trinitarian Divine Ontology. Ashgate Publishing.
    This book presents Hegel’s response to Kant’s claim that metaphysics in general and, in particular, knowledge of God, is beyond the grasp of human knowledge. Patricia Marie Calton argues that Hegel uses his version of the ontological proof not only to establish the existence of God, but also to develop a Trinitarian divine ontology, pointing to conclusions drawn by Hegel that human knowledge of God participates in the life of God by completing the Trinity. The main focus of the book (...)
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