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Title: Towards a doctrine of providence : a response to contemporary critiques
Author: Hobson, George Hull
ISNI:       0000 0000 5078 705X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1989
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This essay is an attempt to find an approach to the Christian doctrine of providence which takes account of modern resistance to traditional formulations even while criticizing some current assumptions that make inevitable --mistakenly, we believe-- a clash between the scientific view of reality and the biblical picture of a governing and intervening God. Our objective is not to develop a doctrine of providence as such, but simply to set in place some of the epistemological and theological conditions that would make such a doctrinal development possible today. Our investigation is set against the foil of a prior analysis of several main currents in Greek and Roman metaphysical theology. We proceed to consider the "anthropological pole" of the Judeo-Christian doctrine of providence. First we examine the term "person"; then we conduct an exegetical and historical-theological study of the doctrine of the imago Dei. We argue that the concept of the personal was undiscoverable by speculation and could only have emerged as a consequence of divine revelation; and that this concept is the key to a proper understanding of the biblical doctrine of the imago Dei, the essence of which is the notion of divine-human relationship. We maintain, moreover, that the definition of man as a rational being makes complete sense only when it is integrated in the more comprehensive conception of man as a personal being. We reinforce this argument by examining the other pole of the doctrine of providence, i.e., the theological. To this end we look at the doctrine of the Trinity. This inquiry forms the basis for the sketch of a theological theory of knowledge in which we apply our relational understanding of the imago Dei to the question of our knowledge of other persons and of things. We conclude by bringing our findings to bear on the "non-interventionist" view of God's relation to the world. This position is critiqued in a final effort to remove some of the theoretical obstacles which have made it difficult to formulate a doctrine of providence faithful both to the biblical picture of God and to modern philosophical and ethical reflection.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy