Date

4-2014

Department

Seminary

Degree

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

Chair

Kenneth Cleaver

Keywords

Christianity, Christology, Montanism, Tertullian, Trinitarianism, Trinity

Disciplines

Christianity | History of Christianity | History of Religions of Western Origin | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

Tertullian of Carthage is hailed by many as the most influential Western theologian prior to Augustine, and his most impressive theological contributions involved Trinitarianism and Christology. This study is a thorough investigation of the extent to which Tertullian influenced subsequent Trinitarian theologians and writers in the Western tradition. It explores how Tertullian repeated and expanded existing arguments popularized by earlier apologists and theologians. It also identifies those original features of Tertullian's theological vocabulary and reasoning which subsequent Western pre- and post-Nicene theologians found most valuable as Trinitarian doctrine progressed toward its maturity. This analysis concludes with an evaluation of Tertullian's theological influence in light of some factors that restricted it.