Chapter

Evil, Freedom, and Providence

Henry Chadwick

in Boethius

Published in print October 1990 | ISBN: 9780198265498
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682896 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198265498.003.0005

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Evil, Freedom, and Providence

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Among the writings that have been produced by men and women in prison awaiting the execution of a death sentence under tyranny, the Consolation of Philosophy holds a place of lasting pre-eminence, partly because of the two grand problems of innocent suffering and the reconciliation of divine providence with human freedom with which it deals. In this profoundly religious book, there is an evidently conscious refusal to say anything distinctively Christian. The book is a work of natural, not of revealed, theology, and strives after a universal appeal to every man. Now at the supreme crisis, Boethius asks what philosophy may have to say to him, especially concerning providence and evil. This chapter examines Stoic moralism, Platonic transcendence, degrees of perfection, natural theology and the Bible, the problem of evil, providence and fate, divine foreknowledge and free will, and the religion of Boethius.

Keywords: Stoic moralism; Platonic transcendence; natural theology; evil; Bible; fate; free will; philosophy

Chapter.  12225 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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