Stumping Freedom: Divine Causality and the Will

New Blackfriars 96 (1066):711-722 (2015)
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Abstract

The problems with grace and free will have prompted long-standing theological conflicts, chiefly revolving around certain disagreements over the nature of divine causality in respect to the free will's of creatures and His foreknowledge of free acts. Eleonore Stump offers a new interpretation of divine action on the will that holds God only acts by way of formal causality and that human cooperation with grace is only by way of "quiescence." I argue that this account lacks coherence in certain important respects, especially in how human beings freely decide upon conversion - a process impossible on this model. I also argue that any model of divine causality cannot escape the dichotomy of holding a Molinist or a Banezian model of efficacious grace. In response, I offer a new interpretation of classical Thomist models of grace that preserves human freedom and divine sovereignty in grace.

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James Dominic Rooney, OP
Hong Kong Baptist University

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