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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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Polytheism and Christian Belief

Polytheism and Christian Belief

(p.170) 8 Polytheism and Christian Belief
Essays in Analytic Theology

Michael C. Rea

Oxford University Press

Christian philosophers and theologians have long been concerned with the question of how to reconcile their belief in three fully divine Persons with their commitment to monotheism. The most popular strategy for doing this—the social trinitarian strategy—argues that, though the divine Persons are in no sense the same God, monotheism is secured by certain relations that obtain among them. It is argued that if the social trinitarian understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity is correct, then Christianity is not interestingly different from the polytheistic Amun-Re theology of Egypt’s New Kingdom period. Thus, social trinitarianism should be classified as a version of polytheism rather than monotheism.

Keywords:   Trinity, polytheism, social trinitarianism, Egyptian religion, monotheism

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