Free Will and Classical TheismThe Significance of Freedom in Perfect Being Theology

Free Will and Classical TheismThe Significance of Freedom in Perfect Being Theology

Hugh J. McCann

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780190611200

Publisher: Oxford University Press


The theological problem of free will received its first definitive treatment in the later Roman period by Augustine, who was concerned in part with the problem of divine foreknowledge, but above all with the relationship between grace and free will in fallen humanity. His eventual answer, a form of theological determinism coupled with compatibilism, has set the framework for religious discussions of free will ever since, and many of its themes are echoed in secular debates about the problem of freedom and determinism. This volume contatins a set of essays on classical themes in philosophical theology having to do chiefly with free will and providence, which should be of secular as well as religious interest. Together they provide a historical and contemporary overview of problems in the theology of freedom, along with a look at recent work by some important philosophers in the field aimed at resolving those problems. Prominent topics include the nature of free will, predestination, salvation by grace, Augustinian freedom, Anselmian libertarianism, the Westminster Confession, libertarian Calvinism, whether God can possess free will and be morally perfect, universal causality and occasionalism, agent- versus event-causation, moral responsibility, and universalism. The essays are grouped as dealing with central issues, historical aspects, divine freedom, and divine omnicausality and responsibility.