Nice and Hot Disputes: The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Seventeenth Century

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9780567088161: Nice and Hot Disputes: The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Seventeenth Century

This work comprises seven chapters. The first deals with popular manifestations of the displacement of the doctrine of the Trinity taking place during the period. The second chapter describes and analyses disputes about the Trinity in the 1640s and 50s and argues that these provided a legacy for the disputes of the 1690s, a fact that other studies neglect. The bulk of the third chapter is taken up with a discussion of the eccentric trinitarian theology of Thomas Hobbes and the reactions of his critics. Chapter four is an extended discussion and analysis of the celebrated disputes about the Trinity that took place in the 1690s. Chapter five probes the public silence and private thoughts of the contemporary philosopher John Locke about the doctrine, and the reactions of his critics. Chapter six examines the continuation and development of the disputes into the early 18th century. The final chapter summarizes the discoveries made from the material and offers some conclusions for students of systematic and historical theology alike.

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About the Author:

Dr Philip Dixon lectures at University of Wales College, Lampeter, and is Academic Tutor at the Maryvale Institute.

Review:

'Its straightforward aim is to demonstrate and rectify the fact that "neglect of seventeenth-century England is a serious lacuna in contemporary studies of trinitarian doctrine" . . . admirably clear and thoughtful.'John Morrill, Cambridge

' . . . a big and important topic largely untouched in previous scholarship and written about with clarity, enthusiasm, and even occasional humour . . .'William C. Placher, Crawfordsville

'This interesting, exciting and informative book certainly deserves a wide readership. It beautifully blends together history and theology...his grasp of history is superb' (Irish Theological Quarterly)

"Dixon explores the theological (as distinct from the merely historical) significance of the Trinitarian disputes of the period of the Civil War and the Stuart Restoration to determine what these have to teach us about the doctrine itself...Dixon contends powerfully that we cannot appreciate the recovery of Trinitarian theology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without understanding those factors that drove the Trinity into the 'lumber room' of theology during the seventeenth and eighteenth...Dixon uses the concept of 'person' to limit his concerns and focus his study through the ocean of books, tracts, pamphlets, replies, replies-to-replies, etc., that make a study of the Trinitarian disputes during this period a daunting undertaking. It is amazing what 'fish' his net catches."
Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal (Heythrop Journal)

“Dixon explores the theological (as distinct from the merely historical) significance of the Trinitarian disputes of the period of the Civil War and the Stuart Restoration to determine what these have to teach us about the doctrine itself...Dixon contends powerfully that we cannot appreciate the recovery of Trinitarian theology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without understanding those factors that drove the Trinity into the 'lumber room’ of theology during the seventeenth and eighteenth...Dixon uses the concept of 'person’ to limit his concerns and focus his study through the ocean of books, tracts, pamphlets, replies, replies-to-replies, etc., that make a study of the Trinitarian disputes during this period a daunting undertaking. It is amazing what 'fish’ his net catches."
Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal (Heythrop Journal)

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