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In
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
, Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is
God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Ted Honderich, Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...

God
's intervention in the
Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development ...

Universe
. The term ''Divine Providence'' (usually capitalized) is also used as a title of God. A distinction is usually made between "general providence", which refers to God's continuous upholding of the existence and natural order of the Universe, and "special providence", which refers to God's extraordinary intervention in the life of people.
Miracle A miracle is a supernatural event that seems inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific laws. In various religions, a phenomenon that is characterized as miraculous is often attributed to the actions of a supernatural being, (especiall ...

Miracle
s generally fall in the latter category.


Etymology

"Divine" evolved in the late 14th century to mean "pertaining to, in the nature of or proceeding from God or a god". This came from the Old French ''devin'' or ''devin'', with a similar meaning, and that from the Latin ''divinus'', meaning "of a god", in turn from ''divus'', with similar meaning, which was related the Latin ''deus'', meaning god or deity. The word providence comes from Latin ''providentia'' meaning foresight or
prudence File:Papstgrab, Prudentia.jpg, Prudentia on the tomb of Pope Clement II in the Bamberg Cathedral Prudence ( la, prudentia, Contraction (grammar), contracted from meaning "seeing ahead, sagacity") is the ability to govern and discipline oneself ...
, and that in turn from ''pro-'', ahead" and ''videre'', to see. The current use of the word in the secular sense refers to foresight, or "timely preparation for eventualities", or (if one is a
deist Deism ( or ; derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
or an
atheist Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "bel ...

atheist
) "nature as providing protective care".


Theology


Jewish

Divine providence ( he, השגחה פרטית ''Hashgochoh Protis'' / ''Hashgachah Pratit'' lit. ivinesupervision of the individual) is discussed throughout
Rabbinic literature Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbi A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts ...
, and in particular by the classical Jewish philosophers. These writings maintain that divine providence means that God is directing (or even recreating) every minute detail of creation. This analysis thus underpins much of
Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist branches of contemporary Judaism. Jewish theology, Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Torah, Written and Oral Torah, Oral, as Sinai Revelation, reveal ...
's
world view A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual ...
, particularly as regards questions of interaction with the natural world.


Catholic

Augustine of Hippo Augustine of Hippo (; la, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Im ...

Augustine of Hippo
is perhaps most famously associated with the doctrine of divine providence in the Latin West. Augustine held that since God's governance takes place in the universe comprising a vast multitude of relatively independent individuals differing in nature, function, and end, this implies the continuous control and unifying governance of a single Supreme Being. However, Christian teaching on Providence in the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
was most fully developed by
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar, Philosophy, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. An immensely influential ...

Thomas Aquinas
in the ''
Summa Theologica The ''Summa Theologiae'' or ''Summa Theologica'' (), often referred to simply as the ''Summa'', is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) ...
''. The concept of providence as care exercised by God over the
universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development ...

universe
, his foresight and care for its future is extensively developed and explained both by Aquinas himself and modern Thomists. One of the foremost modern Thomists,
Dominican Dominican may refer to: * Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the C ...
father
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange Reginald is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a as well, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group (t ...
, wrote a study of providence entitled "Providence: God's loving care for men and the need for confidence in Almighty God." In it, he presents and solves, according to Catholic doctrine, the most difficult issues as related to Providence.


Eastern Orthodox

The doctrine of providence in
Eastern Orthodoxy The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
is set out by St
John of Tobolsk
John of Tobolsk
: "St. John Damascene describes it thus: 'Providence is Divine will which maintains everything and wisely rules over everything' ... It was not by chance that the iniquitous Israeli King Ahab was struck by an arrow that flew in between the seams of his armor. Truly that arrow was directed by the hand of God, just as was the one which struck Julian the Apostate; only for the soldier who let fly the arrow was it accidental. It was not by chance that swallows flew into the home of Tobit and blinded the righteous man. This happened at God’s command, in order to hold Tobit up as an example to succeeding generations, as we learn from the Angel who accompanied his son Tobias. Nothing happens by chance. It was not by chance that Caesar Augustus ordered the census to be taken in the year of Christ’s Nativity. It was not by chance that Christ met with the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar and spoke with her. All this was foreseen and written down in the books of Divine Providence before the beginning of time.”


Lutheran

In
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
theology, divine providence refers to God's preservation of
creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came t ...
, his cooperation with everything that happens, and his guiding of the universe. While God cooperates with both good and evil deeds, with the evil deeds he does so only inasmuch as they are deeds, not with the evil in them. God concurs with an act's effect, but he does not cooperate in the corruption of an act or the evil of its effect. Lutherans believe everything exists for the sake of the Christian Church, and that God guides everything for its welfare and growth. According to
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
, divine providence began when God created the world with everything needed for human life, including both physical things and natural laws. In
Luther's Small Catechism Luther's Small Catechism (german: Der Kleine Katechismus) is a catechism A catechism (; from grc, κατηχέω, "to teach orally") is a summary or exposition of doctrine Doctrine (from la, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a ...
, the explanation of the first article of the
Apostles' Creed The Apostles' Creed (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
declares that everything people have that is good is given and preserved by God, either directly or through other people or things. Of the services others provide us through family,
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
, and work, he writes, "we receive these blessings not from them, but, through them, from God."Luther's Large Catechism, First Commandment
/ref> Since God uses everyone's useful tasks for good, people should look not down upon some useful vocations as being less worthy than others. Instead people should honor others, no matter how lowly, as being the means God uses to work in the world.


Calvinist

This term is an integral part of
John Calvin John Calvin (; Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family The Indo-European languages are a language fami ...

John Calvin
's theological framework known as
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Refor ...
, which emphasizes the
total depravity Total depravity (also called radical corruption or pervasive depravity) is a Protestant theological Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline ...
of man and the complete sovereignty of God. God's plan for the world and every soul that he has created is guided by his will or providence. According to Calvin, the idea that man has
free will Free will is the capacity of agents to choose between different possible courses of action ACTION is a bus operator in , Australia owned by the . History On 19 July 1926, the commenced operating public bus services between Eastlake ( ...

free will
and is able to make choices independently of what God has already determined is based on our limited understanding of God's perfection and the idea that God's purposes can be circumvented. In this mode of thought, providence is related to absolute free will. This concept remains prominent among many
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
denominations that identify with Calvinism (e.g. the
Reformed churches Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, A ...
).


Arminian

At the beginning of the 17th century, the Dutch theologian
Jacobus Arminius Jacobus Arminius (10 October 1560 – 19 October 1609), the Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaig ...

Jacobus Arminius
formulated
Arminianism Arminianism is a branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the populati ...
and disagreed with Calvin in particular on
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...
and
predestination Predestination, in Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christianity and other tr ...
. Arminianism is defined by God's limited mode of providence. This mode of providence affirms the compatibility between human
free will Free will is the capacity of agents to choose between different possible courses of action ACTION is a bus operator in , Australia owned by the . History On 19 July 1926, the commenced operating public bus services between Eastlake ( ...

free will
and divine foreknowledge, but its incompatibility with
theological determinism Theological determinism is a form of predeterminism which states that all events that happen are pre-ordained, and/or predestination, predestined to happen, by one or more divine beings, or that they are destined to occur given the divine beings' o ...
. Thus predestination in Arminianism is based on divine foreknowledge, unlike in Calvinism. It is therefore a predestination by foreknowledge. From this perspective, comes the notion of a
conditional election In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christianity and other traditions * Christia ...
on the one who wills to have faith in God for salvation.


Swedenborgian

''Divine Providence'' is a book published by
Emanuel Swedenborg Emanuel Swedenborg (, ; born Emanuel Swedberg; 29 March 1772) was a -Christian , , and . He became best known for his book on the , (1758). Swedenborg had a prolific career as an and . In 1741, at 53, he entered into a phase in which he be ...

Emanuel Swedenborg
in 1764 which describes his
systematic theology Systematic theology is a discipline of Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christ ...
regarding providence, free will,
theodicy Theodicy () means vindication of God. It is to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil, thus resolving the issue of the problem of evil. Some theodicies also address the evidential problem of evil by attempting "t ...
, and other related topics. Both meanings of providence are applicable in Swedenborg's theology, in that providence encompasses understanding, intent and action. Divine providence relative to man is 'foresight', and relative to the Lord is 'providence'. Swedenborg proposes that one law of divine providence is that man should act from freedom according to reason, and that man is regenerated according to the faculties of rationality and liberty.


Latter Day Saint

There is little theological literature on the term ''providence'' in LDS studies. As stated above, Reformed theology relates these terms to predestination, which does have more prominence in LDS theology, if only as a
polemical Polemic () is contentious rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aim ...
term. One particular text that could be interpreted as being related to such terms is in the
Book of Abraham Image:Joseph Smith Papyrus I.jpg, 300px, A portion of the papyri used by Joseph Smith as the source of the Book of Abraham. The difference between Egyptologists' translation and Joseph Smith's interpretations has caused considerable controversy. Th ...
. As Abraham is shown the heavens, he is also shown the pre-mortal spirits of mankind. The "making of rulers" above is explained as foreordination (in the chapter summary) as opposed to "predestination" This differentiation balances free will (or free agency in LDS theology) against divine intervention. LDS scholar Richard Draper has described the church's position thus: However, this does not imply a passive God. In fact, LDS theology favours a more active, interventionist God. In a recent General Conference, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly (a body that uses parliamentary procedure, such as a legislature) necessary to conduct the business of that group. According to ''Robert's Rules of Order, Robert's Rules of Ord ...
articulates this, "Our lives are like a chessboard, and the Lord moves us from one place to another" Rasband continues by citing a well-known text from in the
Book of Mormon The Book of Mormon is a sacred text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or s ...
in which Nephi finds his nemesis unconscious from inebriation in front of him, he concludes, "Was he fortunate to just happen upon Laban? Or was it by “divine design”? Although the text itself limits the interaction of the divine to the "Spirit" to commanding Nephi to "Slay him." God also limits his involvement. Rasband interprets one particular passage from the Book of Mormon as saying that God (through his Spirit) will only intervene based on righteousness. Rasband concludes that, "When we are righteous, willing, and able, when we are striving to be worthy and qualified, we progress to places we never imagined and become part of Heavenly Father’s “divine design.”


Specific examples

In the United States Declaration of Independence it is cited, "with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor".


Text of Scripture

Those who believe in the
inerrancy Biblical inerrancy is the belief that the Bible "is without error or fault in all its teaching"; or, at least, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact". Some equate inerrancy with biblical in ...
of the original
biblical manuscript A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hell ...
s often accompany this belief with a statement about how the biblical text has been preserved so that what we have today is at least substantially similar to what was written. That is, just as God "divinely inspired the text," so he has also "divinely preserved it throughout the centuries." The
Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster is a district in central London, central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, includin ...
states that the Scriptures, "being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical." This is an important argument in the
King James Only The King James Only movement asserts that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is superior to all other Bible translations into English, English translations of the Bible. Adherents of the King James Only movement, largely members of Evangel ...
debates. Edward F. Hills argues that the principle of providentially preserved transmission guarantees that the printed
Textus Receptus In Christianity, the term ''Textus Receptus'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as La ...
must be the closest text to the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
autograph An autograph is a person's own handwriting or signature. The word ''autograph'' comes from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoel ...

autograph
s. Edward F. Hills, ''King James Version Defended!'', pp. 199-200.


See also

*
Act of God In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resu ...
*
Deism Deism ( or ; derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
* *
Determinism Determinism is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the ...
*
Eye of Providence The Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God) is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy), object, or wikt:relationship, relationship. Symbols ...

Eye of Providence
*
Mortification in Roman Catholic teaching The Roman Catholic Church has often held mortification of the flesh (literally, "putting the flesh to death"), as a worthy spiritual discipline. The practice is rooted in the Bible: in the asceticism of the Old and New Testament saints, and in its ...
*
Providence Plantations Providence Plantations was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six s ...
, the original name of the
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
mainland *
Providence, Rhode Island Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, prima ...

Providence, Rhode Island
, named for "God's merciful Providence", which its founder believed had helped him discover the place to settle. *
Qadar ''Qadar'' ( ar, قدر, Hans Wehr transliteration, transliterated ''qadar'', meaning "fate", "divine fore-ordainment", "predestination," but literally "power")J. M. Cowan (ed.) (1976). ''The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic''. Wiesb ...
* Russian avos' *
Synchronicity Synchronicity (german: Synchronizität) is a concept first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl G. Jung "to describe circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection." In contemporary research, synchronicity ...
*
Tian ''Tiān'' () is one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythology Chinese mythology () is mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of ...

Tian


Notes and references


Citations


Sources

* *


Further reading


Christian material


Charles Hodge's ''Systematic Theology'' chapter on Providence
at the
Christian Classics Ethereal Library The Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) is a digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In ...

Summa Theologica: The Providence of God
by Thomas Aquinas. Traditional teaching of the Catholic Church
Providence
by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

by
James Montgomery Boice James Montgomery Boice (July 7, 1938 – June 15, 2000) was an American Calvinism, Reformed Christian theology, theologian, Bible teacher, author, and speaker known for his writing on the authority of Scripture and the defence of Biblical inerranc ...
* ''Dialogue 4, 13 "On Divine Providence": LH, Sunday, week 19, OR''. by St. Catherine of Siena * ''The Mystery of Providence'' by
John Flavel John Flavel (c.1627–1691) was an English Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement agai ...
, —a
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...

Puritan
classic on the subject
''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' entry

Creation, Providence, and Miracle

Divine Providence
Emanuel Swedenborg *


Jewish material



- selected passages from
Maimonides Moses ben Maimon ; (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides ( ) grc-gre, Μωυσής Μαϊμωνίδης ; la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם),, for ''Rabbeinu Mōše bēn Maimun'', "Our Ra ...

Maimonides
' "
The Guide for The Perplexed ''The Guide for the Perplexed'' ( ar, دلالة الحائرين, ''Dalālat al-ḥā’irīn'', ; Hebrew translation, ''Moreh Nevukhim'' he, מורה נבוכים) is a work of theology by Maimonides Moses ben Maimon ; (1138–1204), ...
" * Divine Providence אין עוד מלבדו השגחה פרטית: Hashem’s intimate involvement in our daily lives as discussed by Chazal (April 2019) Authored by Kenneth Ephraim Pinczower distributed by Feldheim; and in digital form on Apple IBooks and Lulu Ebooks.


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Divine Providence Attributes of God in Christian theology Jewish philosophy Metaphysics of religion Philosophy of religion Religious terminology