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Philosophia Christi

Volume 18, Issue 2, 2016

Symposium on the Trinity in Modern Context

Richard Swinburne
Pages 297-305
DOI: 10.5840/pc201618227

Response to Keith Ward, Christ and the Cosmos

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.

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