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Leibniz on the Trinity and the IncarnationReason and Revelation in the Seventeenth Century$
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Maria Rosa Antognazza

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100747

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100747.001.0001

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Stillingfleet Versus Locke and Toland: On Clear and Distinct Ideas

Stillingfleet Versus Locke and Toland: On Clear and Distinct Ideas

(p.120) 10 Stillingfleet Versus Locke and Toland: On Clear and Distinct Ideas
Leibniz on the Trinity and the Incarnation

Maria Rosa Antognazza

Yale University Press

From the late seventeenth century, a publication entitled A Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity sparked a polemic pitting Edward Stillingfleet, the bishop of Worcester, against John Locke and John Toland. Stillingfleet, the author of Vindication, exposed the danger for the mystery of the Trinity implicit in the epistemological doctrine set forth by Locke in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz followed the development of the affair through Thomas Burnett of Kemney, who also provided him with the various polemical writings that passed between Locke and Stillingfleet. Burnett also attempted to put Leibniz in contact with Locke himself. Toland explicitly rejected the mysteries in Christianity based on his conception of reason and knowledge. Leibniz cited the lack of a precise classification of ideas as the reason for many of the misunderstandings between Locke and Stillingfleet regarding the idea of substance. In the midst of the Locke–Stillingfleet debate, Leibniz does not agree with the suspicion of Antitrinitarianism brought against Locke.

Keywords:   reason, Trinity, Edward Stillingfleet, John Locke, John Toland, Thomas Burnett, mysteries, substance, Antitrinitarianism

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