The Trinity

Richard Swinburne

in The Christian God

Published in print October 1994 | ISBN: 9780198235125
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598579 | DOI:
The Trinity

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There can be more than one divine individual if any others are dependent for their existence on a first one and if it is supremely good, act to cooperate with a second individual to share all that they have with a third individual. In that case, God will be a Trinity, three divine persons, the others deriving ultimately from one of these, ‘The Father’. The Nicene creed and other Christian doctrinal statements of the doctrine of the Trinity can be seen to fit this account, if we bear in mind that the words of Greek and Latin, translated into English as ‘God’ are ambiguous between a name, ‘God’ and ‘a divine being’. We do not need the notion of relative identity to explicate the doctrine of the Trinity.

Keywords: Athanasian creed; god; Gregory of Nyssa; Nicene creed; relative identity; trinity

Chapter.  10214 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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