Divine providence

In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Ithaca: Oxford University Press (1998)

Abstract

This article attempts to spell out more clearly the Thomist, the Openist, and the Molinist approaches to divine providence, and to indicate the strengths and weaknesses of these three positions. It begins by discussing both the traditional notion of divine providence and the libertarian picture of freedom. The article then argues that each theory of divine providence has its advantages and disadvantages. Each has had numerous able and creative defenders. As with most philosophical disputes, one can hardly expect this debate to come to an end. The field of battle may shift more clearly in the coming years to considerations of which view, when applied to specific doctrines, offers us the most satisfying overall position. Still, it seems quite likely that all three positions will continue to be defended for the foreseeable future.

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