What kind of doctrine is divine simplicity? What are its aims?

            On the one hand, we might suppose that the doctrine of divine simplicity tries to describe the divine life to us—to tell us how it is with God. Call this the “substantive metaphysical thesis” view of divine simplicity. It is a view of this sort that has been lucidly and helpfully offered by Ryan Mullins and further exposited by Peter Leithart in their contributions to this theological conversation. So, on Mullins’s presentation, “the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God essentially lacks parts.” 

            Whether or not this claim is right or wrong, it purports to tell us what the being of God is like; it is a metaphysical claim, properly within the discourse of mereology. If divine simplicity is a doctrine of this sort, then Leithart is quite right to observe that the specifics of one’s metaphysic matter a great deal to both the desirability and plausibility of denying composition in God. Depending on the specifics of the parts you’re affirming or denying of God, it might plausibly be very pressing or totally inconsequential to accept or reject divine simplicity.

            On the other hand, we may take the doctrine of divine simplicity to be a consequence of an even more basic theological claim: that of God’s unknowability according to nature. Call this the “apophatic” view of divine simplicity. On this account, the engine that is running the theological train, and the primary theological claim to be guarded, is the belief that the life of God is essentially unknowable and thus ineffably distinct from all else that exists. This is, to my mind, good sound Scriptural theology: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, says the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Without taking these verses (and the many parallel texts littered throughout Scripture) as any sort of demonstrative proof of God’s incomprehensibility, they suggest that most Christian exegetes were not totally unfounded in making essential unknowability one of the defining attributes of the divine life from a very early date. God is not only that-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-conceived, as so-called “perfect being theology” would have it; as St. Anselm goes on to affirm in Proslogion 15-17, God is greater than can be conceived, dwelling in light inaccessible. Though the doctrine of God’s unknowability is phrased in shorthand as a substantive metaphysical thesis (“the being of God is such that it cannot be comprehended in thought or speech”), it too is better understood as an apophatic thesis (“every theological concept or claim must fail to describe God as God truly is”). Or, as St. Augustine writes at sermo 52.16, Si comprehendere potuisti, aliud pro Deo comprehendisti—if you have been able to comprehend a thing, you have comprehended something other than God.  

            Divine unknowability introduces a problem of theological competency into our God-talk. For if we cannot know how it is with God, and if all our theological speech inevitably fails to describe God as God is, then we lack competence to know or express any real distinction within the divine life. On this reckoning, then, divine simplicity is best understood as a refusal to posit any real distinctions within God’s life, on account of our utter inability to know or speak of the divine life as it is in itself. The best we can do is know and speak of what God is like—to know God through created effects, the things God has made that present to us creaturely likenesses of what God tells us the divine life is like. We can know that God is steadfast, for instance, because Scripture teaches us that God is like a rock (1 Sam 2:2); we can know that God is good principally because Scripture tells us so (Ps 100:5), but also because goodness is the sort of quality that admits of perfection, and God lacks no perfection. 

So we can attribute steadfastness and goodness each individually to God as characteristics of the divine life; but beyond that, we do not know what to say. We know that God’s steadfastness and goodness are not like our own, but we do not know how they are unlike our own. We know that something in the divine life is like our notions of steadfastness and goodness, but we lack in principle any categories that might help us describe positively how exactly the divine life exemplifies these attributes. 

We can go some way down the path of ruling out certain ways of describing (for example) God’s goodness, if we reflect on it as a perfection: God must be maximally good, for if God lacked any goodness, we could imagine a greater exemplar of goodness. But we are still at a loss if we seek to describe what God’s goodness positively is—how exactly it differs from the instances of created finite goods that are familiar to us in everyday life, or indeed, how it differs from the other attributes we predicate of God. We do not know what God’s goodness is like, such that we might really distinguish it within the divine life from God’s steadfastness; and so on for any other attribute we predicate of the divine life. 

Every predication made of the divine life thus directs us, by way of created likenesses, back to the unknowable life of God, within which we can draw no further distinctions. And indeed, whatever categories we apply to God, we apply in a manner that does not permit us to draw real distinctions within the divine life: substance, accident, essence, existence, act, being, before, after, and so on ad infinitum. Because we can draw no distinctions within God’s unknowable life, we say that it is simple. But this is not a contingent inability, as if we might someday find the right formulation of substance and accident that might allow us to draw this distinction in God. It is better to say that there just are no creaturely distinctions to be drawn in God—any distinction that there might be in God is of a sort that would be utterly distinct from all else that is, unique to the divine life.

And this is precisely the sort of distinction we find in the doctrine of the Trinity. In the relations between the trinitarian persons, we find just the sort of distinction we were searching for—real distinctions that eternally obtain within the divine life, and a sort of distinction that obtains nowhere in the created order. Yet because the doctrine of the Trinity is a claim about the divine life itself, all our familiar apophatic qualifications apply here: the persons of the Trinity in their mutual relations are unknowable to us, for their relations are identical to the divine life itself; we lack in principle any theological categories that are adequate to describing this sort of distinction. 

The history of fourth and fifth century trinitarian theology is overwhelmingly concerned with precisely this problem; for how can we succeed in describing God as triune if all our theological categories fail to describe the divine life? (This is explicitly the way Augustine frames the problem at De trinitate 7, on which Peter King has written especially insightfully.)[i]And indeed, the doctrine of the Trinity exceeds the limits of what we may know of God by rational reflection. Had it not been revealed to us in Scripture and in (what I take to be) the authoritative teaching of the Ecumenical Councils, the trinitarian relations would merely be further real distinctions we were not competent to draw within God’s life (as Schleiermacher saw). In the judgment of post-Nicene Patristic exegetes and of the councils, these relations are the only real distinctions we may draw within God’s life. 

Whatever else it does, Christian teaching on the Trinity should show us that describing God’s life as simple means something quite different than conceiving of divinity as absolute unity or numerical identity. Even in our attributions of oneness and threeness to God, we cannot predicate these qualities of God in the same way we predicate it of creatures. As the Thomist tradition holds, the res significata—the thing signified, being one or being three—are truly attributed to God, but the modus significandi—the mode in which we ascribe these qualities to creatures—must be denied. Here again, oneness and threeness are both attributed to the divine life itself, and are true of God in such a way that the precise way that God is one cannot be distinguished from the precise way that God is three. When we call God simple, we are saying that God is three just as much as we are saying that God is one. 

This is not a theological embarrassment, or a philosophical incoherence to be overcome: it is precisely the point. It is precisely this way of thinking that, historically, resulted in the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than a far more straightforward account of the three persons as parts of one God, or as three distinct subjects of existence each possessing the divine nature. As Lewis Ayres has ably shown, God’s unknowability and simplicity are two of the guiding principles of the pro-Nicene theological culture that produced and defended the doctrine of the Trinity.[ii]In the Middle Ages, the link between unknowability and simplicity persists especially through the influence of pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. It does not go too far to say that the doctrines of divine unknowability, simplicity, and the Trinity can only be understood together within the Patristic and Medieval traditions (though this recognition is obviously quite far from a philosophical argument for any of these doctrines, much less a particular construal of any of them).

So what does adopting what I have called an apophatic view of divine simplicity get us? Well, for one thing, it makes clear in response to Mullins that appeal to mystery is far from an ad hoc response to vexing theological challenges. We have a well-defined point at which appeal to mystery is justifiable, and indeed, required: whenever we have to do with the divine life itself. 

One of the signal contributions of Mullins’s writings on divine simplicity, both in this theological conversation and in his various publications on the subject, is in showing just how frequently defenders of divine simplicity have departed from the logic of their own position. So, for instance, we may talk if we wish about (for instance) the ordering of divine decrees, but we cannot place much theological weight on such distinctions. Such distinctions are useful, at best, to organize our thinking and theological presentations; more than this, and we have illicitly introduced a real distinction into the divine life. 

As Mullins’s argument at the end of his contribution to this discussion makes clear, one particular point of clarity he brings has to do with the determinacy of the divine will. If there is any indeterminacy within God’s knowledge or will that is subsequently resolved, we have introduced a real temporal distinction within God’s life. To maintain divine simplicity, then, God’s will must be fully determinate from all eternity; there is no room for God’s will (e.g., to dispense grace) to become determinate in response to the actions of creation. Mullins has helped clarify the theoretical cost of holding this doctrine, and for that I am grateful. 

Secondly, the apophatic view of divine simplicity follows Leithart in proposing a “modest” view of divine simplicity as a conceptual and linguistic constraint, a counsel of intellectual asceticism.” Divine simplicity is, as David Burrell has stated a “formal feature” of God-talk: it is a description of the grammar of our theological speech, rather than a descriptive claim about God’s being.[iii]Consequently, it is not (as Leithart worries), dependent upon any particular metaphysic or mereology. Indeed, while I am quite grateful to the many insightful Thomist defenders of divine simplicity, I am quite wary of a characteristically Thomist metaphysical confidence that believes the structure of the order of being can fairly straightforwardly be read off the face of nature. Taking divine simplicity as a formal feature of God-talk allows us to say that whatever the particulars of one’s metaphysic, one cannot draw any real distinctions within the divine life of God. 

Where I depart from Leithart is in his judgment that Jenson’s theology offers a sufficiently chastened reformulation of simplicity. From my standpoint, the problem with Jenson’s theology is that he is too immodest in his interpretations of Scripture, applying (as Hegel did) too many categories familiar to us from our experience of creation to the essentially unknowable life of God. The God of the Bible truly encounters us in the history of Israel and in the life of the Church, and truly draws us into the luminous darkness of God’s triune life, yet before we apply the categories of a historical creation to God’s own life, we should remember why God chastises Israel in Psalm 50: you thought that I was like you.

Finally, a word (altogether too brief) on freedom and modality.[iv]Mullins states that the proponent of what he calls the “modal mystery strategy . . . will try to say that God’s existence is absolutely necessary whereas God’s act is only hypothetically necessary, all while somehow being identical to each other.” But “Nothing that is absolutely necessary can be identical to something that is hypothetically necessary.” Space does not permit reply to this compressed argument in more than a compressed fashion; but two points to note. 

First, we must remember that both the absolute necessity of God’s existence and the contingency of God’s creative will are predicated analogously of the divine life. Just as the defender of divine simplicity is not (pace Plantinga) saying that the predicates of goodness and beauty as we encounter them in creation are identical to one another, neither is the defender of divine simplicity claiming that something absolutely necessary and something hypothetically necessary are identical. The necessity and contingency predicated of God are as distinct from created necessity and contingency as God’s existence as the perfect Good is distinct from the created goods that participate in God’s life. 

Secondly, Mullins has not addressed the question of whether one and the same thing may serve as a truthmaker for diverse modal claims, truths of both necessity and possibility. If we adopt a powers account of modality, it seems possible to say that one and the same power, changelessly the same from all eternity, is the truthmaker both for the necessity of God’s existence (because necessarily, God wills God’s own perfect goodness) and the contingency of creation (because God’s willing of God’s goodness is compatible with both willing to create and not create). Crucially, this account does not depend upon any moment of choice or indeterminacy in God’s will, any before or after: this power is the same, and grounds the modal claim of creation’s contingency, even if God wills to create from all eternity with a will identical to the simplicity of the divine life. This account thus depends on no real distinction within God, for both the modal claims of necessity and contingency are grounded in the attribute of power analogically predicated of God. 

It is a credit to Mullins’s argument that he has opened up so many more questions than space permits answering. His essay has proved a useful spur to thought (as is characteristic of his work), and I welcome further conversation.


The Rev. Joseph E. Lenow (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Resident Assistant Professor of Theology at Creighton University and Priest Associate at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha, NE. He is presently finishing work on his first book, Completing Christ: An Augustinian Christology.


[i]Peter King, “The Semantics of Augustine’s Trinitarian Analysis in De Trinitate 5-7,” in Le De Trinitate de Saint Augustin: Exégèse, logique et noétique, ed. Emmanuel Bermon and Gerard O'Daly (Paris: Institut d'Études Augustiniennes, 2012): 123-135

[ii]Lewis Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Ch. 11.

[iii]David Burrell, Aquinas: God and Action (Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press, 2008).

[iv]I have responded to Mullins’s argument more extensively in Joseph E. Lenow, “Shoring Up Divine Simplicity Against Modal Collapse: A Powers Account”, Religious Studies (2019), https://doi.org/10.1017/S0034412518000859.

Next Conversation

What kind of doctrine is divine simplicity? What are its aims?

            On the one hand, we might suppose that the doctrine of divine simplicity tries to describe the divine life to us—to tell us how it is with God. Call this the “substantive metaphysical thesis” view of divine simplicity. It is a view of this sort that has been lucidly and helpfully offered by Ryan Mullins and further exposited by Peter Leithart in their contributions to this theological conversation. So, on Mullins’s presentation, “the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God essentially lacks parts.” 

            Whether or not this claim is right or wrong, it purports to tell us what the being of God is like; it is a metaphysical claim, properly within the discourse of mereology. If divine simplicity is a doctrine of this sort, then Leithart is quite right to observe that the specifics of one’s metaphysic matter a great deal to both the desirability and plausibility of denying composition in God. Depending on the specifics of the parts you’re affirming or denying of God, it might plausibly be very pressing or totally inconsequential to accept or reject divine simplicity.

            On the other hand, we may take the doctrine of divine simplicity to be a consequence of an even more basic theological claim: that of God’s unknowability according to nature. Call this the “apophatic” view of divine simplicity. On this account, the engine that is running the theological train, and the primary theological claim to be guarded, is the belief that the life of God is essentially unknowable and thus ineffably distinct from all else that exists. This is, to my mind, good sound Scriptural theology: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, says the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Without taking these verses (and the many parallel texts littered throughout Scripture) as any sort of demonstrative proof of God’s incomprehensibility, they suggest that most Christian exegetes were not totally unfounded in making essential unknowability one of the defining attributes of the divine life from a very early date. God is not only that-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-conceived, as so-called “perfect being theology” would have it; as St. Anselm goes on to affirm in Proslogion 15-17, God is greater than can be conceived, dwelling in light inaccessible. Though the doctrine of God’s unknowability is phrased in shorthand as a substantive metaphysical thesis (“the being of God is such that it cannot be comprehended in thought or speech”), it too is better understood as an apophatic thesis (“every theological concept or claim must fail to describe God as God truly is”). Or, as St. Augustine writes at sermo 52.16, Si comprehendere potuisti, aliud pro Deo comprehendisti—if you have been able to comprehend a thing, you have comprehended something other than God.  

            Divine unknowability introduces a problem of theological competency into our God-talk. For if we cannot know how it is with God, and if all our theological speech inevitably fails to describe God as God is, then we lack competence to know or express any real distinction within the divine life. On this reckoning, then, divine simplicity is best understood as a refusal to posit any real distinctions within God’s life, on account of our utter inability to know or speak of the divine life as it is in itself. The best we can do is know and speak of what God is like—to know God through created effects, the things God has made that present to us creaturely likenesses of what God tells us the divine life is like. We can know that God is steadfast, for instance, because Scripture teaches us that God is like a rock (1 Sam 2:2); we can know that God is good principally because Scripture tells us so (Ps 100:5), but also because goodness is the sort of quality that admits of perfection, and God lacks no perfection. 

So we can attribute steadfastness and goodness each individually to God as characteristics of the divine life; but beyond that, we do not know what to say. We know that God’s steadfastness and goodness are not like our own, but we do not know how they are unlike our own. We know that something in the divine life is like our notions of steadfastness and goodness, but we lack in principle any categories that might help us describe positively how exactly the divine life exemplifies these attributes. 

We can go some way down the path of ruling out certain ways of describing (for example) God’s goodness, if we reflect on it as a perfection: God must be maximally good, for if God lacked any goodness, we could imagine a greater exemplar of goodness. But we are still at a loss if we seek to describe what God’s goodness positively is—how exactly it differs from the instances of created finite goods that are familiar to us in everyday life, or indeed, how it differs from the other attributes we predicate of God. We do not know what God’s goodness is like, such that we might really distinguish it within the divine life from God’s steadfastness; and so on for any other attribute we predicate of the divine life. 

Every predication made of the divine life thus directs us, by way of created likenesses, back to the unknowable life of God, within which we can draw no further distinctions. And indeed, whatever categories we apply to God, we apply in a manner that does not permit us to draw real distinctions within the divine life: substance, accident, essence, existence, act, being, before, after, and so on ad infinitum. Because we can draw no distinctions within God’s unknowable life, we say that it is simple. But this is not a contingent inability, as if we might someday find the right formulation of substance and accident that might allow us to draw this distinction in God. It is better to say that there just are no creaturely distinctions to be drawn in God—any distinction that there might be in God is of a sort that would be utterly distinct from all else that is, unique to the divine life.

And this is precisely the sort of distinction we find in the doctrine of the Trinity. In the relations between the trinitarian persons, we find just the sort of distinction we were searching for—real distinctions that eternally obtain within the divine life, and a sort of distinction that obtains nowhere in the created order. Yet because the doctrine of the Trinity is a claim about the divine life itself, all our familiar apophatic qualifications apply here: the persons of the Trinity in their mutual relations are unknowable to us, for their relations are identical to the divine life itself; we lack in principle any theological categories that are adequate to describing this sort of distinction. 

The history of fourth and fifth century trinitarian theology is overwhelmingly concerned with precisely this problem; for how can we succeed in describing God as triune if all our theological categories fail to describe the divine life? (This is explicitly the way Augustine frames the problem at De trinitate 7, on which Peter King has written especially insightfully.)[i]And indeed, the doctrine of the Trinity exceeds the limits of what we may know of God by rational reflection. Had it not been revealed to us in Scripture and in (what I take to be) the authoritative teaching of the Ecumenical Councils, the trinitarian relations would merely be further real distinctions we were not competent to draw within God’s life (as Schleiermacher saw). In the judgment of post-Nicene Patristic exegetes and of the councils, these relations are the only real distinctions we may draw within God’s life. 

Whatever else it does, Christian teaching on the Trinity should show us that describing God’s life as simple means something quite different than conceiving of divinity as absolute unity or numerical identity. Even in our attributions of oneness and threeness to God, we cannot predicate these qualities of God in the same way we predicate it of creatures. As the Thomist tradition holds, the res significata—the thing signified, being one or being three—are truly attributed to God, but the modus significandi—the mode in which we ascribe these qualities to creatures—must be denied. Here again, oneness and threeness are both attributed to the divine life itself, and are true of God in such a way that the precise way that God is one cannot be distinguished from the precise way that God is three. When we call God simple, we are saying that God is three just as much as we are saying that God is one. 

This is not a theological embarrassment, or a philosophical incoherence to be overcome: it is precisely the point. It is precisely this way of thinking that, historically, resulted in the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than a far more straightforward account of the three persons as parts of one God, or as three distinct subjects of existence each possessing the divine nature. As Lewis Ayres has ably shown, God’s unknowability and simplicity are two of the guiding principles of the pro-Nicene theological culture that produced and defended the doctrine of the Trinity.[ii]In the Middle Ages, the link between unknowability and simplicity persists especially through the influence of pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. It does not go too far to say that the doctrines of divine unknowability, simplicity, and the Trinity can only be understood together within the Patristic and Medieval traditions (though this recognition is obviously quite far from a philosophical argument for any of these doctrines, much less a particular construal of any of them).

So what does adopting what I have called an apophatic view of divine simplicity get us? Well, for one thing, it makes clear in response to Mullins that appeal to mystery is far from an ad hoc response to vexing theological challenges. We have a well-defined point at which appeal to mystery is justifiable, and indeed, required: whenever we have to do with the divine life itself. 

One of the signal contributions of Mullins’s writings on divine simplicity, both in this theological conversation and in his various publications on the subject, is in showing just how frequently defenders of divine simplicity have departed from the logic of their own position. So, for instance, we may talk if we wish about (for instance) the ordering of divine decrees, but we cannot place much theological weight on such distinctions. Such distinctions are useful, at best, to organize our thinking and theological presentations; more than this, and we have illicitly introduced a real distinction into the divine life. 

As Mullins’s argument at the end of his contribution to this discussion makes clear, one particular point of clarity he brings has to do with the determinacy of the divine will. If there is any indeterminacy within God’s knowledge or will that is subsequently resolved, we have introduced a real temporal distinction within God’s life. To maintain divine simplicity, then, God’s will must be fully determinate from all eternity; there is no room for God’s will (e.g., to dispense grace) to become determinate in response to the actions of creation. Mullins has helped clarify the theoretical cost of holding this doctrine, and for that I am grateful. 

Secondly, the apophatic view of divine simplicity follows Leithart in proposing a “modest” view of divine simplicity as a conceptual and linguistic constraint, a counsel of intellectual asceticism.” Divine simplicity is, as David Burrell has stated a “formal feature” of God-talk: it is a description of the grammar of our theological speech, rather than a descriptive claim about God’s being.[iii]Consequently, it is not (as Leithart worries), dependent upon any particular metaphysic or mereology. Indeed, while I am quite grateful to the many insightful Thomist defenders of divine simplicity, I am quite wary of a characteristically Thomist metaphysical confidence that believes the structure of the order of being can fairly straightforwardly be read off the face of nature. Taking divine simplicity as a formal feature of God-talk allows us to say that whatever the particulars of one’s metaphysic, one cannot draw any real distinctions within the divine life of God. 

Where I depart from Leithart is in his judgment that Jenson’s theology offers a sufficiently chastened reformulation of simplicity. From my standpoint, the problem with Jenson’s theology is that he is too immodest in his interpretations of Scripture, applying (as Hegel did) too many categories familiar to us from our experience of creation to the essentially unknowable life of God. The God of the Bible truly encounters us in the history of Israel and in the life of the Church, and truly draws us into the luminous darkness of God’s triune life, yet before we apply the categories of a historical creation to God’s own life, we should remember why God chastises Israel in Psalm 50: you thought that I was like you.

Finally, a word (altogether too brief) on freedom and modality.[iv]Mullins states that the proponent of what he calls the “modal mystery strategy . . . will try to say that God’s existence is absolutely necessary whereas God’s act is only hypothetically necessary, all while somehow being identical to each other.” But “Nothing that is absolutely necessary can be identical to something that is hypothetically necessary.” Space does not permit reply to this compressed argument in more than a compressed fashion; but two points to note. 

First, we must remember that both the absolute necessity of God’s existence and the contingency of God’s creative will are predicated analogously of the divine life. Just as the defender of divine simplicity is not (pace Plantinga) saying that the predicates of goodness and beauty as we encounter them in creation are identical to one another, neither is the defender of divine simplicity claiming that something absolutely necessary and something hypothetically necessary are identical. The necessity and contingency predicated of God are as distinct from created necessity and contingency as God’s existence as the perfect Good is distinct from the created goods that participate in God’s life. 

Secondly, Mullins has not addressed the question of whether one and the same thing may serve as a truthmaker for diverse modal claims, truths of both necessity and possibility. If we adopt a powers account of modality, it seems possible to say that one and the same power, changelessly the same from all eternity, is the truthmaker both for the necessity of God’s existence (because necessarily, God wills God’s own perfect goodness) and the contingency of creation (because God’s willing of God’s goodness is compatible with both willing to create and not create). Crucially, this account does not depend upon any moment of choice or indeterminacy in God’s will, any before or after: this power is the same, and grounds the modal claim of creation’s contingency, even if God wills to create from all eternity with a will identical to the simplicity of the divine life. This account thus depends on no real distinction within God, for both the modal claims of necessity and contingency are grounded in the attribute of power analogically predicated of God. 

It is a credit to Mullins’s argument that he has opened up so many more questions than space permits answering. His essay has proved a useful spur to thought (as is characteristic of his work), and I welcome further conversation.


The Rev. Joseph E. Lenow (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Resident Assistant Professor of Theology at Creighton University and Priest Associate at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha, NE. He is presently finishing work on his first book, Completing Christ: An Augustinian Christology.


[i]Peter King, “The Semantics of Augustine’s Trinitarian Analysis in De Trinitate 5-7,” in Le De Trinitate de Saint Augustin: Exégèse, logique et noétique, ed. Emmanuel Bermon and Gerard O'Daly (Paris: Institut d'Études Augustiniennes, 2012): 123-135

[ii]Lewis Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Ch. 11.

[iii]David Burrell, Aquinas: God and Action (Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press, 2008).

[iv]I have responded to Mullins’s argument more extensively in Joseph E. Lenow, “Shoring Up Divine Simplicity Against Modal Collapse: A Powers Account”, Religious Studies (2019), https://doi.org/10.1017/S0034412518000859.

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