Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.


  1. Jonathan
    January 18, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

    You say that Clarke’s view would be compliant with the 325 creed but wouldn’t conform to the 381 creed. Why do you think so? Could you elaborate?

    There’s no concept of a “tri-personnal God” in the 381 formulation, the Father is still the “one God”. Which of the newly added clauses would “exclude” Clarke’s view?


    • Dale Tuggy
      January 19, 2017 @ 7:32 am

      Excellent question. A unitarian might be forgiven for thinking that the 381 creed too is consistent with unitarian theology, as it seems (like many earlier creeds) to identify the Father and the one God. In my view, what changed is the interpretation assumed for the key innovation: “homoousios”. In 325, this was understood to assert the qualitative similarity of Father and Son, so that each can be called “God” and even “true God.” In truth, this is very ambiguous, as following events made clear, but any unitarian signer had a good argument that the document expressed their view. In 381 this language was extended, by implication, to the Spirit, AND it was now understood to imply that Father and Son were the same god. I see this assumption coming in in the 370’s – I’m not sure precisely where or why. In any case, this new assumption is why very shortly after 381 you see people like Augustine clearly asserting that Trinity to be the one God, the triune God. Each “is” a god, but it’s the same god each time. So they must each mysteriously be “in” God, so that God is tripersonal – whatever that means!


      • Jonathan
        January 19, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

        This is really helpful, thanks a lot for your reply Dale.

        Is there a book you could recommend on this shift of understanding of “homoousios” between 325 and 381?

        Also, I was trying to locate your critique of Clarke’s subordinationist view – you say in this post that you dealt with it in a subsequent blog post but I couldn’t find it.


  2. Tom Torbeyns
    September 11, 2015 @ 9:35 am

    You talk about ‘other ancient “fathers” in this post’ but I don’t seem to notice a link to prove that more thoroughly? 🙂


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