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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Chance and Providence in Early Christianity

Chance and Providence in Early Christianity

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

Richard W. Miller

Oxford University Press

“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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