Arguing for the Trinity: Rhetoric and the “Divine Tetractys”

  • Murray J. Evans
Part of the Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters book series (19CMLL)


While scholarship on the content of Coleridge’s view of the Christian Trinity serves Coleridgeans well,1 the method of his elaboration of the Trinity awaits more attention. The conclusion of VCL MS 29, vol. ii (McFarland’s Fragment 2) presents Coleridge’s Idea of the Trinity as “Divine Tetractys”: the Absolute Will self-manifested in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This passage is the fullest development of the theme in the Coleridge canon. Revisiting rhetorical techniques introduced in my previous chapters will help illuminate this long and puzzling chapter in Coleridge’s argument. His now complex combination of these techniques enacts what he calls “tetractic” logic. This mode of argument illuminates his more fragmentary comments on his pentad and on the Trinity elsewhere in the canon.


Positive Definition Rhetorical Device Perfect Idea Mental Power Meditative State 
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© Murray J. Evans 2012

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  • Murray J. Evans

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