Modes without Modalism
Leftow (Brian)
Source: Van Inwagen (Peter) & Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons: Human and Divine
Paper - Abstract

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From "Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons: Human and Divine - Three Introductory Questions"

    The doctrine of the trinity has it that there are three Persons in one God. Such odd arithmetic requires explaining. Many explanations begin from the oneness of God, and try to explain just how one God can be three divine Persons. Augustine and Aquinas pursued this project, which Brian Leftow calls "Latin Trinitarianism". In "Modes without Modalism1", Leftow describes the difficulty of preventing Latin Trinitarianism from devolving into "Modalism2" — a view rejected by most Christian theological traditions. He argues that not every mode-concept one might bring into trinitarian theology begets Modalism3. In particular, John Locke made use of a concept of a mode that proves congenial to the formulation of Latin Trinitarianism. We are not ourselves the sort of beings for whom Locke's theory of personal identity is true, argues Leftow. But the three persons of the trinity are.


Part 5: Personhood in Christian Doctrine

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