Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Since the 19th century, “modalism” has been commonly used as a general term for a number of related theological positions, usually referred to in 2nd- and 3rd-century CE literature as “patripassianism,” “monarchianism,” or “Sabellianism.” These terms refer to any theology of God that denies a distinction of personhood between the Father, Son, and Spirit (Trinity). Rathe…

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Svigel, Michael J., “Modalism”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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