Providentialism


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Providentialism

 

the religious understanding of history as the revelation of the will of god and the fulfillment of a predetermined divine plan for the “salvation” of man.

Providentialism is characteristic of all theistic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The providentialist understanding of the historical process as the path leading to the eschatological “kingdom of god” was developed by Augustine. This view became the basis for all medieval Christian church historiography. In the 17th century the ideas of providentialism were developed by J. B. Bossuet in France.

Beginning with the Renaissance and particularly during the Enlightenment, the rationalistic view of history as an immanent process and as the realization of “natural law” and reason developed in opposition to providentialism. However, in the 19th and 20th centuries, providentialism continued to remain the philosophical basis for many idealist trends and schools—for example, in the early 19th century, J. M. de Maistre and F. von Schlegel; L. von Ranke and his school of historiography; and the philosophy of history of neo-Thomism.

References in periodicals archive ?
Forster reaches beyond modernism to paradoxical effect, "only to re-formulate under the guise of Hindu mysticism a regression to providentialism wherein a transcendental Being presides over narrative events and Nothing is left to chance" (109).
Only economic activity that exposed one to loss could be squared with the providentialism that governed the period's ethics by equalizing opportunity--and failure.
a piece of unmitigated propaganda for retributive providentialism," the catastrophe of which "hilariously parodies the by then rather tired dramatic convention" (89).
The historian Peter Lake, whose welcome trespass into literary studies in such works as The Antichrist's Lewd Hat; Protestants, Papists & Players in Post-Reformation England (2002) has demonstrated the value of interdisciplinary work, analyzes the relationship of political theory, late-Elizabeth political anxiety, and religious providentialism in "Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and the search for a usable (Christian?
Bottum concludes that the speech's effort to "connect fact and value" was evidence of a natural-law influence--a sign of Catholicism's arrival as a governing philosophy--entirely missing its connection to the long tradition of American providentialism that has been deeply grounded in its Protestant origins.
In fact, she argues, a sympathetic understanding of religious belief and practice underpins Hume's writing; Hume's own historiography can be interpreted as endorsing a kind of providentialism (of human progress).
York thus wanted to stage a careful representation of the city as a necessary underprop to Henry's successful rule (which it undoubtedly was) while it needed to maintain a clear supporting role in a dramatic narrative of providentialism and divine right.
But in fact the work exposes the contradiction between the world of honor and Christian providentialism that undergirded the world slave trade.
Foreshadowing early modern providentialism, pre-Socratic philosophy deduced divine sanction for human action in contemporary interspecies relations, as man's dominion over animals was considered natural and mutually sustainable between species and thus part of a divine scheme.
Given Pascal's decidedly Augustinian bent, it is reasonable to think that he would have sought a way to reconcile providentialism with this model of present-centered temporality.
The primary features of Obenland's "conceptual map" of Hawthorne's providentialism are "agnostic, secular, and dialogic" (36).
Nevertheless one commonality is clearly evidenced which to my knowledge and searchings has never been expressed in either written or verbal commentaries, the strong belief in and articulation of providentialism that God intervenes in human affairs and is so manifested in histories.