The place of Hilary of Poitiers in the debates and developments of
early Christianity is tenuous in contemporary scholarship. His
invaluable historical position is unquestioned, but the coherence
and significance of his own thought is less certain. In this book,
Jarred A. Mercer makes a case for understanding Hilary not only as
an important historical figure, but as a noteworthy and independent
thinker. Divine Perfection and Human Potentiality offers a new
paradigm for understanding Hilary's work De Trinitate. The book
contends that in all of Hilary's polemical and constructive
argumentation, which is essentially trinitarian, he is inherently
developing an anthropology. The work therefore reinterprets
Hilary's overall theological project in terms of the continual, and
for him necessary, anthropological corollary of trinitarian
theology- to reframe it in terms of a "trinitarian anthropology."
The coherence of Hilary's work depends upon this framework, and
without it his thought continues to elude his readers. Mercer
demonstrates this through following Hilary's main lines of
trinitarian argument, out of which flow his anthropological vision.
These trinitarian arguments unfold into a progressive picture of
humanity from potentiality to perfection.
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