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Abraham's DiceChance and Providence in the Monotheistic Traditions$
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Karl W. Giberson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190277154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277154.001.0001

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Chance and Providence in Early Christianity

Chance and Providence in Early Christianity

Chapter:
(p.129) 7 Chance and Providence in Early Christianity
Source:
Abraham's Dice
Author(s):

Richard W. Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277154.003.0007

“Providence” for early Christian thinkers signified God guiding nature and history toward its end through God’s wisdom, power, and love. Early Christian thinking on providence developed through reflection on the scriptures, and in conversation and conflict with the largely secular views of Greek and Roman thinkers. The latter believed either that the universe came into existence and continued on its course through chance and accident or, conversely, through a determinism rooted in a chain of natural causes or in the configurations of the stars (i.e., fate). The central questions and responses by early Christians to these issues of chance, determinism, and divine providence illuminate our engagement with these issues today.

Keywords:   providence, Augustine, determinism, Greek cosmology, early Christian cosmology

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