Trinity and Truth

Trinity and Truth

Trinity and Truth

Trinity and Truth

Synopsis

This book is about the problem of truth: what truth is, and how we can tell whether what we have said is true. Bruce Marshall approaches this problem from the standpoint of Christian theology, and especially that of the doctrine of the Trinity. The book offers a full-scale theological account of what truth is and whether Christians have adequate grounds for regarding their beliefs as true. Unlike most theological discussions of these issues, the book is also extensively engaged with the modern philosophical debate about truth and belief.

Excerpt

The thought of writing this book first took shape years ago when, as a graduate student, Ireadin manuscript draft chapters of what became George Lindbeck's Nature of Doctrine. Lindbeck brought home to me, as did Hans Frei in a different way, the idea that Christians can and should have their own ways of thinking about truth and about deciding what to believe. They need not take their truth claims on loan from some other intellectual or cultural quarter, or regard the only alternative to epistemic servitude as isolation from the broader human conversation about what is true. Little of Lindbeck's own idiom for making these claims remains here, but it will be evident that I think they are correct and important claims to make.

Further reflection suggested that a theological account of truth and the justification of belief which had any hope of success had to engage the analytic philosophical discussion of truth, meaning, and belief in a direct and reasonably detailed way. Save for Wittgenstein, the main figures in this discussion—including some of the century's most important and influential philosophers, like Quine, Davidson, and Dummett—are not much read by theologians. of course analytic philosophers, including philosophers of religion, usually return the favor. But the modern analytic debate calls into question most of the assumptions which theologians (and not only they) customarily bring to the issues with which this book deals, and offers rigorously argued alternative views. It has therefore seemed indispensable here to try to bridge the gap between theology and analytic philosophy.

At the same time, a genuinely theological account of truth and epistemic justification needs to be robustly trinitarian. It ought to subject whatever ideas it may find useful to the formative discipline of the . . .

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