Philosophical Essays on Divine Causation  book cover
1st Edition

Philosophical Essays on Divine Causation

Edited By

Gregory E. Ganssle

ISBN 9780367334697
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
300 Pages

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Book Description

This book discusses various aspects of God’s causal activity. Traditional theology has long held that God acts in the world and interrupts the normal course of events by performing special acts. Although the tradition is unified in affirming that God does create, conserve, and act, there is much disagreement about the details of divine activity. The chapters in this book fruitfully explore these disagreements about divine causation.

The chapters are divided into two sections. The first explores historical views of divine causal activity from the Pre-Socratics to Hume. The second section addresses a variety of contemporary issues related to God’s causal activity. These chapters include defenses of the possibility of special acts of God, proposals of models of divine causation, and analyses of divine conservation.

Philosophical Essays on Divine Causation will be of interest to researchers and graduate students working in philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and metaphysics.

Table of Contents


Gregory E. Ganssle

1. Divine Causal Agency in Classical Greek Philosophy

Donald J. Zeyl

2. Divine Causality according to Neo-Platonism

Phillip S. Cary

3. Aquinas on Divine Causality

W. Matthews Grant

4. Three Competing Views of God’s Causation of Creaturely Actions: Aquinas, Scotus and Olivi

Gloria Frost

5. Durand and Suarez on Divine Causation

Jacob Tuttle

6. Descartes on Voluntary Action and Universal Conservation

Joel Archer and C. P. Ragland

7. Leibniz on Divine Causation: Continuous Creation and Concurrence Without Occasionalism

Julia Jorati

8. Berkeley on Divine Human Agency: A Teleological Reconstrual

James S. Spiegel

9. What Hume didn’t Notice about Divine Causation

Timothy Yenter

10. Defending Special Divine Acts

Robert A. Larmer

11. Divine Sustaining Causes and the Mind-Body Problem

Angus J. L. Menuge

12. Neo-Aristotelian Accounts of Divine Creation

Paul M. Gould

13. Theistic Conferralism: Consolidating Divine sustenance and Trope Theory

Robert K. Garcia

14. The Timing of Divine Conservation: Pushes, Nudges, and Merry-go-rounds

David Vander Laan

15. Divine Causation and the Pairing Problem

Gregory E. Ganssle

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Gregory E. Ganssle is Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology – Biola University. He works in the philosophy of religion and the history of philosophy. He has edited two books and written three. His most recent is Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspiration.


"Divine causation and divine agency are crucially important topics in theology and philosophy of religion, and Ganssle’s collection provides both excellent discussions of key historical views and some important proposals on contemporary controversies. Highly recommended for both philosophers of religion and theologians."William Hasker, Huntington University, USA