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Philosophia Christi

Volume 18, Issue 2, 2016
Symposium on the Trinity in Modern Context

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Displaying: 1-10 of 26 documents


1. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
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the doctrine of the trinity: a symposium on keith ward’s christ and the cosmos
2. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Chad Meister Rethinking the Trinity: On Being Orthodox and Au Courant
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There is a renaissance of interest in the doctrine of the Trinity. Keith Ward’s book, Christ and the Cosmos: A Reformulation of the Trinitarian Doctrine, is a recent and important work that attempts to reimagine the doctrine of the Trinity in a contemporary context. The following symposium engages with this important work and offers profitable discussion on the doctrine of the Trinity today. It includes an opening essay in which Professor Ward delineates his views, nine essays by leading philosophers and theologians responding to his work, and his replies to the respondents. This essay provides some background to the discussion.
3. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Keith Ward Reimagining the Trinity: On Not Three Gods
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If God is agape-love, this implies that God creates and relates to other personal beings, in giving to, receiving from, and uniting those beings to the divine in love. In this relationship, God is threefold—the primordial source of all (the Father), the expressive image of divine love (Jesus), and the unitive power which unites the cosmos to the divine (the Spirit). These are three different “forms of instantiation” (hypostases) of one divine mind (ousia), not three distinct consciousnesses (the “social Trinity”). The threefold mind of God is not “modalist,” but an essential and indissoluble form of the divine nature.
4. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Richard Swinburne Response to Keith Ward, Christ and the Cosmos
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Keith Ward understands the Trinity as “one conscious being” and the divine “persons” as three necessary modes of divine action. But he does not give a good reason for supposing that there must be just three modes of divine action. I argue that by contrast all the theories of the Trinity developed from the Nicene Creed by patristic and medieval writers, are “social” theories, or “three persons” theories (in a modern sense of “person”). I defend my a priori argument for the justification of a social theory—that three persons are the necessary minimum for the realization of perfect love, and (in the case of divine persons) the necessary maximum for this.
5. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Stephen T. Davis Comments on Keith Ward’s Christ and the Cosmos
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The present essay is a response to Keith Ward’s recent book, Christ and the Cosmos. While deeply appreciative of this fine book, I raise two criticisms of it: (1) Ward’s claim (in agreement with much of the tradition) that we can know nothing of the divine essence has disturbing implications, the main one of which is that there may be large disjunctions between what God has revealed to us about the divine nature and the divine nature in itself. (2) Ward’s criticisms of the social theory of the Trinity are not compelling and indeed edge his own view close to modalism.
6. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Thomas McCall Professor Ward and Polytheism
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Professor Ward has offered a bold alternative to traditional doctrines of the Trinity. I focus on his proposal for understanding the identity of Jesus Christ. I note some ambiguities and raise some concerns, and I show that his theology is not obviously free of the error that motivates his rejection of more traditional views.
7. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Katherin A. Rogers A Medieval Approach to Keith Ward’s Christ and the Cosmos: A Reformulation of Trinitarian Doctrine
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In Christ and the Cosmos Keith Ward hopes to “reformulate” the conciliar statements of the Trinity and Incarnation since they cannot serve our post-Enlightenment, scientific age. I dispute Ward’s motivation, noting that the differences in perspective to which he points may not be as radical as he supposes. And his “reformulation” has worrisome consequences. I am especially concerned at his point that Jesus, while very special and perfectly good, is only human. This undermines free will theodicy, and, much more troubling, makes global Christian practice for two millennia idolatry.
8. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
William Hasker A Cosmic Christ?
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Keith Ward advocates modifications in the doctrine of God similar to those affirmed by open theism. However, he rejects social Trinitarianism, in spite of his own recognition that the two views have often gone together. I argue that, beyond this, Ward really rejects the Trinitarian and Christological doctrines of the church, as expressed in the creeds of Nicaea and Chalcedon. The implications of this are explored; one implication is that Ward’s Christ is less “cosmic” than the traditional view he repudiates.
9. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Francis X. Clooney, SJ Christ and the Cosmos: A Reformulation of Trinitarian Doctrine: A Reflection
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In Christ and the Cosmos Keith Ward again rethinks Christian doctrines, so as to restore their intelligibility and relevance. Throughout, he commendably notes parallels in other traditions that have pondered the unity and complexity of the divine. But such references are invariably general and brief; little insight into theologies arising elsewhere is achieved. Even in a small book, mention without depth may imply that no premodern learning answers questions arising in and for the globalized West. But gently sidelining the concepts of premodern traditions risks also losing their transformative energies, making less likely the revitalizing of doctrines of God beyond and in the world.
10. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Thomas Jay Oord Can God Be Essentially Loving without Being Essentially Social?: An Affirmation of and Alternative for Keith Ward
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Keith Ward is right in Christ and the Cosmos that “the idea of God as a sort of society is a bad idea” (x). Christian theology would make better sense if Christians did not say God is comprised of three persons, each with distinct centers of consciousness, distinct relations, distinct wills, and so on. This formulation of the Trinity is more tritheistic than monotheistic. I argue that for a host of reasons, Christians should conceive of the Trinity as one God who instantiates in three forms. I also suggest Christians would be wise to say God is essentially loving and essentially related to creation.