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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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Jonathan Edwards and Occasionalism

Jonathan Edwards and Occasionalism

(p.195) 10 Jonathan Edwards and Occasionalism
Abraham's Dice

Oliver D. Crisp

Oxford University Press

Reformed theology is often associated with a divine determinism, in which God ordains everything, and human freedom is claimed to be consistent with this. This biblically informed approach safeguards absolute divine sovereignty over all creatures while protecting human moral responsibility. In early modern theology the question of divine causation loomed large in light of Newton’s mechanical philosophy and the pantheism of writers like Spinoza. Some fended off these worries with occasionalism, claiming that human actions were merely occasions of divine action. Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) took occasionalism to be a correlate of his uncompromising doctrine of divine sovereignty, ultimately making God the moral and causal explanation of all events—even those that are evil.

Keywords:   Jonathan Edwards, occasionalism, sovereignty, providence, divine causation

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