Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Essays in Analytic TheologyVolume 1$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198866800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198866800.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 July 2021

Relative Identity and the Doctrine of the Trinity

Relative Identity and the Doctrine of the Trinity

Chapter:
(p.185) 9 Relative Identity and the Doctrine of the Trinity
Source:
Essays in Analytic Theology
Author(s):

Michael C. Rea

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198866800.003.0010

The doctrine of the Trinity maintains that there are exactly three divine Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) but only one God. The philosophical problem raised by this doctrine is well known. On the one hand, the doctrine seems clearly to imply that the divine Persons are numerically distinct. How else could they be ‘three’ rather than one? On the other hand, it seems to imply that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are identical. If each Person is divine, how else could there be exactly ‘one’ God? But the divine Persons can’t be both distinct and identical. Thus, the doctrine appears to be incoherent. Some try to solve this problem by appeal to the view that identity is sortal-relative. This chapter argues that this strategy is unsuccessful as a stand-alone solution to the problem of the Trinity.

Keywords:   Trinity, relative identity, Peter Geach, van Inwagen, social trinitarianism, Nicholas Griffin, logic

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .