Chapter

Contingence and Disorder

Thomas F. Torrance

in Divine and Contingent Order

Published in print July 1981 | ISBN: 9780198266587
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198266587.003.0004
Contingence and Disorder

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Throughout the history of thought, pre-Christian and post-Christian, contingence has regularly been contrasted with necessity, for contingent things do not have to be and contingent events do not have to happen. The first two sections of this chapter examine the correlation between necessity and convergence. Contingence cannot be treated as a disordering factor in the universe, but rather as an all-important ingredient making for the astonishing richness and variability of nature, which constantly defies one's capacity to anticipate it or to reduce it to our standardizing formalizations. The third section takes up the question of ‘disorder’ or ‘evil’. Does the contingent universe disclose to the investigations only orderly patterns in nature, or do are there irrational elements in it disrupting order? The last section explores man's priestly and redemptive role in the world.

Keywords: contingence; necessity; disorder; convergence; nature; evil

Chapter.  22980 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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