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The Jesuit Counter-Reformation: Conditionalizing Divine Knowledge

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Chapter Summary

About 1600, a fierce debate on predestination, grace, and free will split up Catholic theology. Incited by Luis de Molina, the Jesuits highlighted human freedom against the Dominicans led by Domingo Bez, who primarily stressed divine grace. Molina presented divine middle knowledge in his Concordia as a solution to relate divine grace, providence, predestination, and human freedom, which seemingly contradict each other. The contingency argument is the cornerstone of Twisses position. It explains the relation between contingency and determination by starting with the hypothesis of synchronic contingency. The argument also reveals the inconsistency of conditional knowledge. Contingent states of affairs require a cause that produces them and makes the corresponding conditional true. Before divine decision no such cause can be imagined, so no truth and no knowledge can obtain.

Keywords: divine knowledge; Jesuit; Molina; Twisse



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