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Christ's freedom: Anselm vs Molina



Both Molinism and Anselmianism attempt to preserve libertarian freedom for created agents as well as robust divine sovereignty. The two issues intersect in addressing the puzzle of Christ's freedom: If God is necessarily good, how can God Incarnate be free? Anselm answers: while human agents need options for our choices to be up to us, Christ inevitably chooses rightly with perfect freedom. I defend Anselm's answer against a general criticism and then argue that Anselm's position is preferable to the Molinist solution which has recently been championed by Thomas P. Flint.


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Coakley, Sarah (2002) ‘What does Chalcedon solve and what does it not?’, in Davis, Stephen T., Daniel Kendall, SJ, & Gerald O'Collins, SJ (eds) The Incarnation (Oxford, Oxford University Press), 143163.
Daley, Brian E. (2002) ‘Nature and the “Mode of Union”: late patristic models for the personal unity of Christ’, in Davis, Stephen T., Daniel Kendall, SJ, & Gerald O'Collins, SJ (eds) The Incarnation (Oxford, Oxford University Press), 164196.
Flint, Thomas P. (1998) Divine Providence: The Molinist Account (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press).
Flint, Thomas P. (2001a) ‘A death he freely accepted: Molinist reflections on the incarnation’, Faith and Philosophy, 18, 320.
Flint, Thomas P. (2001b) ‘The possibilities of Incarnation: some radical Molinist suggestions’, Religious Studies, 37, 307320.
Flint, Thomas P. (2004) ‘Risky business: open theism and the Incarnation’, Philosophia Christi, 6, 213233.
Flint, Thomas P. (2011) ‘Molinism and Incarnation’, in Ken, Perszyk (ed.) Molinism (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 187226.
Hasker, William (1989) God, Time, and Knowledge (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press).
Hunt, David (1993) ‘Divine providence and simple foreknowledge’, Faith and Philosophy, 10, 394414.
Kane, Robert (1996) The Significance of Free Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
McCann, Hugh (1995) ‘Divine sovereignty and the freedom of the will’, Faith and Philosophy, 12, 582589.
Molina, Luis de (1988) On Divine Foreknowledge (Part IV of the Concordia), Freddoso, Alfred J. (tr.) (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press).
Rogers, Katherin A. (2005) ‘Anselm on eudaemonism and the hierarchical structure of moral choice’, Religious Studies, 41, 249268.
Rogers, Katherin A. (2008) Anselm on Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Rogers, Katherin A. (2012) ‘Anselm on the ontological status of choice’, International Philosophical Quarterly, 52, 183197.
Rogers, Katherin A. (2013) ‘The Incarnation as action composite’, Faith and Philosophy, 30, 251270.
Rogers, Katherin A. (2015) Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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