About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

C. Church Fathers

My intention here is to provide an extensive bibliography of resources for the doctrine of providence. This is an ongoing project, so do contact me if you know of any works that should be included, or if you wish for me to make an amendment or correct an error.

Last Updated: 17 September 2014

Thomas Aquinas

Summa Contra Gentiles, Book Three: Providence (2 vols.), translated, with an introduction and notes, by Vernon J. Bourke (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1975; first pub. c. 1258–1263)

Summa Theologica, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Notre Dame: Christian Classics, 1981; first pub. c. 1265–1274), 1a.22, 1a.103–119

Secondary Literature

Corey L. Barnes, ‘Natural Final Causality and Providence in Aquinas’, New Blackfriars 95 (2014), pp. 349–361

Corey L. Barnes, ‘Ordered to the Good: Final Causality and Analogical Predication in Thomas Aquinas’, Modern Theology 30:4 (2014), pp. 433–453

Craig A. Boyd and Aaron D. Cobb, ‘The Causality Distinction, Kenosis, and a Middle Way: Aquinas and Polkinghorne on Divine Action’, Theology and Science 7 (2009), pp. 391–406

David B. Burrell, Aquinas: God and Action, 2nd ed. (Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2008; 1st ed. 1979)

Brian Davies, The Thought of Thomas Aquinas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 158–184

Brian Davies, Aquinas. Outstanding Christian Thinkers (London: Continuum, 2002), pp. 72–79, 105–112

Horton Davies, The Vigilant God: Providence in the Thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and Barth (New York: Peter Lang, 1992)

Michael T. Dempsey, ‘Providence, Distributive Justice, and Divine Government in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas: Some Implications for Ecclesial Practice’, New Blackfriars 90 (2009), pp. 365–384

Michael A. Hoonhout, ‘Grounding Providence in the Theology of the Creator: The Exemplarity of Thomas Aquinas’, The Heythrop Journal 43 (2002), pp. 1–19

Ignacio Silva, ‘Thomas Aquinas Holds Fast: Objections to Aquinas within Today’s Debate on Divine Action’, The Heythrop Journal 54:4 (2013), pp. 658–667

Eleonore Stump, ‘Providence and the Problem of Evil’, in Brian Davies and Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 401–417

Karl Barth

Church Dogmatics (13 vols.), edited by G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1957–1975), III/3:3–288 (first pub. 1950)

Secondary Literature

Horton Davies, The Vigilant God: Providence in the Thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and Barth (New York: Peter Lang, 1992)

Christopher C. Green, Doxological Theology: Karl Barth on Divine Providence, Evil and the Angels. T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2011)

Tom Greggs, ‘The Lord of All: Rediscovering the Christian Doctrine of Providence for the World’, with a response from David Clough, in Hannah Bacon and Wayne Morris with Steve Knowles (eds.), Transforming Exclusion: Engaging Faith Perspectives (London: T&T Clark, 2011), pp. 44–62

Darren M. Kennedy, Providence and Personalism: Karl Barth in Conversation with Austin Farrer, John Macmurray and Vincent Brümmer (Bern: Peter Lang, 2011)

Bruce L. McCormack, ‘The Actuality of God: Karl Barth in Conversation with Open Theism’, in Bruce L. McCormack (ed.), Engaging the Doctrine of God: Contemporary Protestant Perspectives (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), pp. 185–242

Kathryn Tanner, ‘Creation and Providence’, in John Webster (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 111–126

Laura vander Velden, ‘Karl Barth and the Doctrine of Providence’, Didaskalia 20 (2009), pp. 41–60

W. A. Whitehouse, ‘Providence: An Account of Karl Barth’s Doctrine’, Scottish Journal of Theology 4 (1951), pp. 241–256

John Calvin

The Secret Providence of God, edited by Paul Helm and translated by Keith Goad (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010; first pub. 1558)

Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 vols.), edited by John T. McNeill and translated by Ford Lewis Battles. Library of Christian Classics 20–21 (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1960; first pub. 1559), 1.16–18

Secondary Literature

Oliver D. Crisp, ‘Calvin on Creation and Providence’, in Sung Wook Chung (ed.), John Calvin and Evangelical Theology: Legacy and Prospect. In Celebration of the Quincentenary of John Calvin (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2009), pp. 43–65

Horton Davies, The Vigilant God: Providence in the Thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and Barth (New York: Peter Lang, 1992)

Paul Helm, ‘Calvin (and Zwingli) on Divine Providence’, Calvin Theological Journal 29 (1994), pp. 388–405

Paul Helm, John Calvin’s Ideas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 93–128

W. J. Torrance Kirby, ‘Stoic and Epicurean? Calvin’s Dialectical Account of Providence in the Institute’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 5 (2003), pp. 309–322

John C. McDowell, ‘Idolaters at Providential Prayer: Calvin’s Praying Through the Divine Governance’, in Myk Habets and Bobby Grow (eds.), Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2012), pp. 353–403

Meng-Chai Ong, John Calvin on Providence: The Locus Classicus in Context (unpublished Ph.D thesis, King’s College London, 2003)

Pieter C. Potgieter, ‘Providence in Calvin: Calvin’s View of God’s Use of Means (media) in His Acts of Providence’, in Anthony N. S. Lane, Jon Balserak and David F. Wright (eds.), Calvinus Evangelii Propugnator: Calvin, Champion of the Gospel (Grand Rapids: CRC Product Services for the Calvin Studies Society, 2006), pp. 175–190

P. H. Reardon, ‘Calvin on Providence: The Development of an Insight’, Scottish Journal of Theology 28 (1975), pp. 517–533

Susan E. Schreiner, The Theater of His Glory: Nature and the Natural Order in the Thought of John Calvin (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1995)