Leibniz on the trinity and the incarnation: Reason and revelation in the seventeenth century (review)
Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 145-146 (2009)
In this exhaustively researched and thoughtful study of Leibniz’s neglected theological writings, Maria Rosa Antognazza presents a strong case that Leibniz held original and highly developed views on the relation between faith and reason, the theology of the Trinity, and the nature of Christ. Furthermore, she argues convincingly that Leibniz’s views were consistently maintained throughout his life and “coexist comfortably” with his distinctive metaphysics; “perhaps,” she suggests in the introduction, Leibniz’s metaphysics and theology are even “reinforcing one another” . In fact, her book proves this suggestion correct, revealing the importance of Leibniz’s theology to the understanding of his metaphysics.The book is structured into four parts: “Early Writings 1663–1671”; “Fragments of a System 1672–1692”; “English Trinitarian Polemics 1693–1705”; and “The Last Years 1706–1716.” Leibniz argues for three major theological positions. On the relation of faith and reason, he contends that the authority of scripture and theological tradition give the Christian mysteries a presumption of truth. The proper role of reason in theological matters is to distinguish authentic revelations from false
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