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Augustine on creation, providence and motion.

Oliver, Simon (2016) 'Augustine on creation, providence and motion.', International journal of systematic theology., 18 (4). pp. 379-398.


Augustine's theology of creation has been criticized for its Platonic tendency to denigrate matter and for a supposedly extrinsic view of divine providence that is reminiscent of design and even deism. This article counters such criticism and argues that Augustine explicitly blends extrinsic and intrinsic notions of providential teleological order. For Augustine, God ‘administers externally the natures he has created internally’ by inscribing the rationes seminales within creatures and conferring motion through the mediation of measure, number and weight. By resisting a dualism of intrinsic and extrinsic teleological order, Augustine avoids many of the problems that characterize modern theologies of creation and provides a more coherent account of divine providence.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Oliver, Simon (2016) 'Augustine on creation, providence and motion.', International journal of systematic theology, 18(4): 379-398, which is published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:24 June 2016
Date deposited:24 June 2016
Date of first online publication:29 September 2016
Date first made open access:29 September 2017

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