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The Providence of God
A Polyphonic Approach


Part of Current Issues in Theology

  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108466578

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About the Authors
  • The concept of providence is embedded in the life and theology of the church. Its uses are frequent and varied in understandings of politics, nature, and individual life-stories. Parallels can be discerned in other faiths. In this volume, David Fergusson traces the development of providential ideas at successive periods in church history. These include the early appropriation of Stoic and Platonic ideas, the codification of providence in the Middle Ages, its foregrounding in Reformed theology, and its secular applications in the modern era. Responses to the Lisbon earthquake (1755) provide an instructive case study. Although confidence in divine providence was shaken after 1914, several models were advanced during the twentieth century. Drawing upon this diversity of approaches, Fergusson offers a chastened but constructive account for the contemporary church. Arguing for a polyphonic approach, he aims to distribute providence across all three articles of the faith.

    • Overcomes divisions between systematic and practical theology with its focus on lived religion
    • Revises traditional ideas of providence by attention to their political and pastoral significance
    • Develops a distributed notion of providence in relation to the three articles of Christian faith - Father, Son and Spirit
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[An] eirenic and very engaging contribution to CUP's excellent Current Issues in Theology series.' John Saxbee, Church Times

    '… The Providence of God is essential reading for anyone researching the doctrine of providence.' Terry J. Wright, International Journal of Systematic Theology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108466578
    • length: 389 pages
    • dimensions: 217 x 140 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Sources of providentialism
    2. The Latin default setting
    3. Dispersals of providence in modernity
    4. Providence in nature
    5. Twentieth-century reactions
    6. Providence reconstructed
    Names index
    Subject index.

  • Author

    David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh
    David Fergusson is Professor of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author and editor of over fifteen books, including Faith and its Critics (2009), based on the Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of Glasgow. A Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is co-editor (with Mark Elliott) of a three-volume History of Scottish Theology (forthcoming).

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