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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. Susan Abraham (2014). Praying the Trinity: Transforming Feminist Trinitarian Theologies. Modern Theology 30 (4):582-590.
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  4. 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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  5. Marilyn McCord Adams (2008). The Metaphysics of the Trinity in Some Fourteenth Century Franciscans. Franciscan Studies 66 (1):101 - 168.
  6. Khalil Yahyá ibn Adi & Samir (1980). Maqalah Fi Al-Tawhid. Al-Maktabah Al-Bulusiyah.
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  7. 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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  8. James Anderson (2005). In Defence of Mystery: A Reply to Dale Tuggy. Religious Studies 41 (2):145.
    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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  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. 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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  11. Augustine (1963). The Trinity. Catholic University of America Press.
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  12. Gareth B. Augustine & Matthews (2002). On the Trinity.
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  13. Maximus Augustine, Manoles Planudes, Isavella Papathomopoulos, Gianpaolo Tsavare & Rigotti (1995). Augoustinou Peri Triados Vivlia Pentekaideka.
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  14. Lewis Ayres (2011). Augustine and the Trinity. Augustinian Studies 42 (1):87 - 90.
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  15. Lewis Ayres (2011). The Trinity and the Life of the Christian: A Liturgical Catechism. New Blackfriars 92 (1037):3-17.
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  16. 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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  17. H. E. Baber (2016). Trinity, Generality, and Dominance. Religious Studies 52 (4):435-449.
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  18. H. E. Baber (2015). The Trinity. Faith and Philosophy 32 (2):161-171.
    Prima facie, relative identity looks like a perfect fit for the doctrine of the Trinity since it allows us to say that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each of which is a Trinitarian Person, are the same God but not the same Person. Nevertheless, relative identity solutions to logic puzzles concerning the doctrine of the Trinity have not, in recent years, been much pursued. Critics worry that relative identity accounts are unintuitive, uninformative or unintelligible. I suggest that the relative (...)
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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Meir M. Bar-Asher & Aryeh Kofsky (1995). The Nuṣayrī Doctrine of ‘Alī’s Divinity and the Nuṣayrī Trinity According to an Unpublished Treatise From the 7th/13th Century. [REVIEW] Der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East 72 (2):258-292.
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  22. 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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  23. T. W. Bartel (1993). Could There Be More Than One Almighty? Religious Studies 29 (4):465.
    If proof is required that yesterday's scandal can become today's fashion, we need look no further than recent discussions of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Just a generation ago, Trinitarians typically insisted that the members of the Godhead are not distinct persons in any literal sense. But during the past few years, more and more philosophically sophisticated Christians have unblushingly maintained that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not just different persons, but different individuals – that (...)
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  24. 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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  25. 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.
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  26. Werner Beierwaltes (1994). Unity and Trinity in Dionysius and Eriugena. Hermathena 157:1 - 20.
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  27. Grigory Benevich (2012). Maximus Confessor’s Polemics Against Tritheism and His Trinitarian Teaching. Byzantinische Zeitschrift 105 (2).
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  28. Daniele Bertini (2015). Against Trinitarian Enthusiasm: The Approach of Relative Identity Logic to the Trinity. Reportata. Passato E Presente Della Teologia 13.
    The theorizing about the doctrine of the Trinity by contemporary analytic philosophers of religion has recently been imbued with an air of enthusiastic excitement and self-confidence. My intuition is that there’s room for saying something more in support to the embarrassment and puzzlement traditionally related to the predication of God’s onefoldness and threefoldness. My purpose is to deliver a general argument for (weak) trinitarian skepticism. My view is that the argument provides substantive reasons in support to the common sense intuition (...)
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  29. 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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  30. Daniela Bianchi (1985). Some Sources for a History of English Socinianism a Bibliography of 17th Century English Socinian Writings. Topoi 4 (1):91-120.
    In 1697, the Presbyterian, William Bates, presented an address, on behalf of some dissenting ministers, to William of Orange. In this, he called for measures against the Socinians and Deists, and, in particular, for the banning of the publication of Socinian works. Bates' address was published in JOHN HOWE, Sermon Preech'd on the Day of Thanksgiving (1698). On 17th February, 1698, the House of Commons presented an address to the King, We do further, in all humility, beseech Your Majesty, that (...)
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  31. Rudolph Binion (2015). I. The Unholy Trinity. In Frau Lou: Nietzsche's Wayward Disciple. Princeton University Press. pp. 35-57.
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  32. 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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  33. Donald G. Bloesch (2001). The Battle for the Trinity the Debate Over Inclusive God-Language.
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  34. 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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  35. Boethius, The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods.
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  36. Bohn Einar Duenger (2011). The Logic of the Trinity. Sophia 50 (3):363-374.
    Roughly, the problem of the Trinity is the problem of how God can be one and yet be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which are three, not one. That one thing is identical with three distinct things seems to violate traditional laws of identity. I propose a solution to this problem according to which it is just an ordinary claim of one-many identity. For example, one pair of shoes is identical with two shoes; and my one body (...)
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  37. Arthur Boutwood (1919). Stewart A. McDowall, Evolution and the Doctrine of the Trinity. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 18:201.
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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. A. Bracken S. J. Joseph (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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  41. A. Bracken S. J. Joseph (1974). The Holy Trinity as a Community of Divine Persons, I. Heythrop Journal 15 (2):166-182.
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  42. Jeffrey Brower (2004). Trinity. In The Cambridge Companion to Abelard. Cambridge University Press.
    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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  43. 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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  44. Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael C. Rea (2005). Understanding the Trinity. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 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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  45. Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael C. 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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  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. Giorgio Buccellati (2012). The Trinity in a Mesopotamian Perspective. Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 104 (1):29-48.
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  49. 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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  50. 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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