Does the Problem of Material Constitution Illuminate the Doctrine of the Trinity?

Faith and Philosophy 22 (1):77-86 (2005)

William Lane Craig
Houston Baptist University
Michael Rea and Jeffery Brower have offered a provocative new model of the Trinity on the analogy of the Aristotelian solution to the problem of material constitution. Just as a fist and a hand can be distinct entities composed of a common matter and yet numerically the same object, so the persons of the Trinity can be distinct entities (persons) composed of a common "matter" (the divine essence) and yet numerically the same object (God). I express doubts about the degree to which this analogy sheds light on the doctrine of the Trinity due to the disanalogy that neither God nor the Trinitarian persons are to be thought of as composed of any sort of stuff and to the model’s lack of explanatory power as to how a common matter can be simultaneously imbued with seemingly incompatible forms to constitute one object
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil200522135
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 41,507
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Recent theories of the Trinity.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2013 - Veritas: Revista de Filosofía y Teología 29:189-217.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Material Constitution and the Trinity.Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael C. Rea - 2005 - Faith and Philosophy 22 (1):57-76.
Relative Identity and the Doctrine of the Trinity.Michael C. Rea - 2003 - Philosophia Christi 5 (2):431 - 445.
Trinity and Polytheism.Edward Wierenga - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (3):281-294.
The Trinity.Michael C. Rea - 2009 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 403--429.
Trinity and Consistency.James Cain - 2006 - Faith and Philosophy 23 (1):45-54.


Added to PP index

Total views
104 ( #72,968 of 2,248,777 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #19,503 of 2,248,777 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature