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The Logic of the TrinityAugustine to Ockham$
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Paul Thom

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234769

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234769.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Background
The Logic of the Trinity

Paul Thom

Fordham University Press

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity as it appears in the early Church Councils has a dual heritage – in Greek philosophy and in Christian thought. From the Platonists and NeoPlatonists came the notion of a Form, and the notion of a being that exemplifies itself (e.g. The One of Plotinus). From Aristotle came the contrast between the categories of Substance and Relative. This philosophical legacy was combined with Christian notions whose home was in the polemics surrounding heresies such as those of Arius and Sabellius. The theoretical notions that constitute this whole conceptual field are presented in a logic that characterizes a domain whose elements are connected through abstraction, correlativity, substantial predication. The major accounts of the Trinity are based on this logic, making adjustments to it for a variety of theological or philosophical reasons.

Keywords:   Arius, Categories, Church Council, Forms, One, Relative, Sabellius, Substance

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