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Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil$
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Brian Davies

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790890.001.0001

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Providence and Grace

Providence and Grace

Chapter:
(p.79) 8 Providence and Grace
Source:
Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil
Author(s):

Brian Davies

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790890.003.0008

When turning to the topic of God and evil, many people have written on the assumption that reflection on the reality of evil might rightly lead one to conclude that God does not exist. Aquinas, however, never wrote on this assumption. He acknowledged that one might argue in terms of it, but Aquinas never seriously took God's existence as open to question because there is evil. That is because of his Christian faith, which rested on the conviction that God exists, and because of what he thought could be established by philosophical argument—that God exists. In other words, when Aquinas concerned himself with God and evil, his aim was always to strive to provide some account of what God is and how evil should be thought of in a world created by God. He was, you might say, never on the defensive when it comes to the reality of evil and the existence of God. His approach to this matter was always thoroughly influenced by his confidence that God, indeed, exists. This chapter discusses Aquinas's thoughts on providence, happiness, faith, grace, and predestination.

Keywords:   Thomas Aquinas, God, evil, happiness, faith, predestination

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