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LeibnizProtestant Theologian$
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Irena Backus

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199891849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891849.001.0001

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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: 28 September 2021

Leibniz and Augustine

Leibniz and Augustine

(p.126) 5 Leibniz and Augustine

Irena Backus

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 argues that, as shown by Pierre Bayle’s article on Augustine in the Dictionnaire historique et critique, the church father’s doctrines on free will and predestination were plastic and could be adapted to any of the seventeenth-century confessional positions. Leibniz, if he was to convince his partners in the Lutheran–Reformed negotiations, was more or less obliged to follow suit and cite Augustine to support his particular angle. What is more important is that he acted as if he found Augustinian roots to his theodicean framework, thus concealing to all intents and purposes the aporia in his own thought about God and the cause of evil. At the same time Leibniz made extensive use of Augustine in his developments on the doctrine of the world soul, a fact hitherto overlooked by modern scholars.

Keywords:   Augustine, evil, Pierre Bayle, theodicy, world soul

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