Book One of <i>De Trinitate</i>

Carl L. Beckwith

in Hilary of Poitiers on the Trinity

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551644
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720789 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Book One of De Trinitate

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This chapter offers a close reading of Book One of De Trinitate. Book One never formed a part of De Fide but was added in 358 when Hilary made the other revisions and updates to Books Two to Six. As such, Book One was not retouched by Hilary in 358 but was newly composed by him and deliberately placed as the opening book of De Trinitate. Hilary uses Book One to outline the theological method necessary for a proper discussion of who God is—a method that Hilary sees his modalist and subordinationist opponents compromising. Hilary articulates this theological method through the literary trope of his own troubled soul searching for truth. Book One discusses such issues as the authority of scripture, the priority of faith, and use of analogy and metaphorical language in theological discourse.

Keywords: conversion; faith; reason; scripture; philosophy; analogy; metaphor; Photinus of Sirmium; Marcellus of Ancyra; subordinationism; modalism; synopsis of books

Chapter.  8161 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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