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Title: God of himself : John Calvin, classical trinitarianism and the self-existence of the Son of God
Author: Ellis, Brannon E.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates several basic issues in Trinitarian theological formulation, in light of and in dialogue with John Calvin’s affirmation of the essential self-existence of God the Son, and the various approaches to endorsing or denying the legitimacy of such ‘autothean’ language in the Reformation and post-Reformation eras. My aim is to explain the historical and theological significance and to explore the constructive implications of Calvin’s ‘complex solidarity’ with the classical tradition in his approach to thinking and speaking of the Triune God, in light of and in dialogue with these debates centring on the bundle of themes – the divine processions and consubstantiality – at the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity. Chapter 1 is a discussion of Calvin’s doctrine of the Trinity in the 1559 Institutes.  In Chapter 2, I take up the controversies that form the context of Calvin’s autothean language, discussing those during his lifetime, first with Trinitarians and then with anti-Trinitarians.  Chapter 3 is my attempt to make theological sense of the historical shape of these debates, as well as the various approaches that arose after Calvin’s time, through offering an account of the role of the doctrine of eternal generation in classical Trinitarian theology. The aim is a faithful interpretation of the significance of the autothean controversies through grasping the complex of assumptions, convictions and claims at their heart, the theological shape of which I go on to consider throughout Chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 6, finally, is an initial foray into some further applications and implications of a Calvinian approach to thinking and speaking of the Triune God according to how he has given himself to be known, at this crucial nexus between Unity and Trinity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available