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God As Essence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the influence of the concept of 'substance' seen in the Neo-Platonic philosophy in the reinterpretation of 'one God' as taught by the creeds. There appears to be a clear connection between the Aristotelian doctrine of the 'substance' and Augustine's choice of the abstract concept of the 'Godhead'. The chapter investigates this connection and seeks to understand how Augustine and his follow formulated from the perspective ers would interpret 'one God' and 'three Persons' in view of their Neo-Platonic commitments. The doctrine of the Trinity of 'God as essence' is important for African Christianity because this is the doctrine of God that the missionaries who planted the church in Africa in the middle and latter part of the nineteenth century knew and taught. The chapter notices the basic characteristics of God as essence and explains by the nature of the metaphysics chosen by Augustine, Boethius, and Aquinas.

Keywords: African Christianity; Aquinas; Aristotelian doctrine; Augustine; Boethius; metaphysics; Neo-Platonic philosophy; Trinity

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