Definition of modalism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmodlˌizəm/


1 Theology The doctrine that the persons of the Trinity represent only three modes or aspects of the divine revelation, not distinct and coexisting persons in the divine nature.
Example sentences
  • He uses metaphors and illustrations that confuse the persons of the Trinity and describes God's being as changing, over time, from one divine person to another (an idea known as modalism or patripassionism).
  • It should be done, however, in a way that does not lead to modalism.
  • Or, to paraphrase what he was saying: this isn't about realism or anti-realism, it isn't about nominalism, nihilism, modalism, nor pluralism; it isn't about being a subjectivist or an objectivist.
2 Music The use of modal melodies and harmonies.
Example sentences
  • The themes are more folk-influenced without being folky - the diatonicism and modalism of folk music, rather than actual tunes or attempts to write them.
  • When taken to America, however, the form was enhanced by an injection of the modalism of folksong.



noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Nonetheless, most models of the Trinity that have been proposed and defended have leaned in modalist or tritheistic directions.
  • Plainly, then, the modalists did not mean that Father is interchangeable with Son in terminology.
  • God, to the modalist, is not a Tri-Unity unto Himself, but only in his revelation to mankind.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mod·al·ism

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