|dc.description.abstract||This thesis presents a Thomistic account of divine providence and human
freedom. I defend and develop the traditional view by adopting some contemporary
interpretations of it. I argue that the Thomist solution provides an idea that divine
providence is compatible with libertarian freedom.
In the first chapter I provide the definition of divine providence, which is GodÃ¢ÂÂs
continuing action in preserving his creation. In another word, not only does God create
the universe and conserve it in existence at every moment, but he also guides it
according to his purpose.
In the second chapter, I critically examine three solutions to the problem of
providence and human freedom. They are compatibilism, open theism, and Molinism. I
argue that the solutions are unsatisfactory in that they too easily give up some of the
important doctrines concerning God and humans.
In Chapter III, I develop a Thomistic account of divine providence and human
freedom. The Thomistic theory, I argue, well preserves traditional doctrines concerning
both God and humans without damaging either providence or libertarian freedom for
humans. In particular, I briefly examine some characteristics of God, which are
timelessness and his activity as the First Cause. Based on these features of GodÃ¢ÂÂs nature, I show how human beings enjoy entire freedom in the libertarian sense although God has
complete sovereignty over human free choices in the world.
If the present view is correct, what makes it less attractive is that the theory
seems to make God the author of sin. So I finally deal with the problem of moral
responsibility and the problem of evil and sin, showing that humans, not God, are the
author of sin. I contend that God wills that humans sin but he has a certain purpose for
doing so within his providence. But that never destroys human freedom, so humans are
responsible for their decisions and actions. Within the Thomistic explanation we can
have a logically coherent view of compatibility of divine providence with libertarian
freedom of humans. In the last chapter, I summarize my argument and deal with some
implications of it.||en_US