Divine Providence: The Molinist Account - Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion (Paperback)Thomas P. Flint (author)
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Thomas P. Flint develops and defends the idea of divine providence sketched by Luis de Molina, the sixteenth-century Jesuit theologian. The Molinist account of divine providence reconciles two claims long thought to be incompatible: that God is the all-knowing governor of the universe and that individual freedom can prevail only in a universe free of absolute determinism. The Molinist concept of middle knowledge holds that God knows, though he has no control over, truths about how any individual would freely choose to act in any situation, even if the person never encounters that situation. Given such knowledge, God can be truly providential while leaving his creatures genuinely free. Divine Providence is by far the most detailed and extensive presentation of the Molinist view ever written.
Middle knowledge is hotly debated in philosophical theology, and the controversy spills over into metaphysics and moral philosophy as well. Flint ably defends the concept against its most influential contemporary critics, and shows its importance to Christian practice. With particular originality and sophistication, he applies Molinism to such aspects of providence as prayer, prophecy, and the notion of papal infallibility, teasing out the full range of implications for traditional Christianity.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 276
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"Thomas Flint, a leading proponent of 'Molinism', has written a stimulating exposition and defense of middle knowledge.... His are the arguments that anyone involved in the debate over Molinism will now have to engage, while even readers with little interest in divine providence may find the book worth studying just for its insights into explanatory priority, counterfactual power, and similar topics of general interest."-- David P. Hunt * International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion *
"This exposition is clear and full, measured and well-oiled."* Religious Studies *
"Divine Providence is the only full-scale treatment of Molinism to have appeared in recent years.... It tackles Molinism directly and at length. It is written with great clarity, and it gives one a good idea of what can reasonably be argued for given its basic thesis. Those who want get a sense of how modern-day Molinists might wish to defend themselves today have nothing better to read at the moment."* American Catholic Quarterly *
"I am very impressed with Flint's discussion. He does an extraordinary job of setting forth clearly the Molinist metaphysical perspective and defending the engine that drives this system-God's middle knowledge-from attack. In fact his discussion of middle knowledge and the intricate interesting philosophical issues this concept continues to generate in current, mainstream philosophy of religion is, I believe, the best to date.... Flint's book remains required reading for any serious philosopher of religion or philosophical theologian."* The Philosophical Review *
"In this book, Flint systematically articulates and defends Molinism... and the result is a rigorous, clear treatment.... I recommend this book very highly to specialists in the field."* The Journal of Religion *
"In an exceptionally engaging, clear, and ingenious book, Thomas P. Flint appeals to divine middle knowledge to present and defend an account of divine providence. In the process he mounts a sustained development and defense of the doctrine of middle knowledge."* Philosophia Christi *