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Essays in Analytic TheologyVolume 1$
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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

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Material Constitution and the Trinity [with Jeffrey Brower]

Material Constitution and the Trinity [with Jeffrey Brower]

Chapter:
(p.201) 10 Material Constitution and the Trinity [with Jeffrey Brower]
Source:
Essays in Analytic Theology
Author(s):

Michael C. Rea

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198866800.003.0011

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 divine beings. There is another well-known philosophical problem that presents us with a similar sort of tension: the problem of material constitution. This chapter argues that a relatively neglected solution to the problem of material constitution—an appeal to the Aristotelian doctrine of numerical sameness without identity—can be developed into a novel solution to the problem of the Trinity.

Keywords:   Trinity, material constitution, constitution trinitarianism, relative identity, social trinitarianism, Nicene Creed

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