Providentialism


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is also through the Aeneas-Venus relationship that Marlowe emphasizes the absurdity of the my-god-can-beat-your-god aspect of providentialism. For if Aeneas has his own special deity on his side, that implies the existence of an opposition.
But while this determined providentialism attempts to shore up the idea that all was for the best, his qualifiers and afterthoughts register the struggle of that effort: 'yet' his mother was well enough to make a good death and assert her love for him as she died; 'it may be' that his fathers fury was just, because he was childish.
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.
This system mixed Christian Providentialism with Aristotle, as in Vincentio's words to Angelo, "There is a kind of character in thy life, which doth thy history fully unfold.
Reading soldiers' diaries and letters home, the correspondence from the home folks, the daily press, religious periodicals, and other sources, Rable finds a strong and resilient providentialism coursing through Americans' thinking, even among non-Protestant groups.
(17) He argues that William's regime used the language of providentialism to legitimize itself.
In Providence and the Invention of the United States, Nicholas Guyatt of Simon Fraser University examines the notion of American providentialism and its evolving political and social implications, from the establishment of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown to the end of Reconstruction.
However, Byron's gloomy tenor and fatalism remained fundamentally at odds with Scott's upbeat providentialism.
Mukherji's chapter closes with an analytical look at drama's ability to "cast doubt on the project of theatrical providentialism itself " (134).
On providentialism as the main religious foundation of Philip II's imperial rhetoric, see Edouard, 2005.
Winship, Seers of God: Puritan Providentialism in the Restoration and Early Enlightenment (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); John Corrigan, The Prism of Piety: Catholick Congregational Clergy at the Beginning of the Enlightenment (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); Henry.
167-85), neatly subtitled 'The Grotesque as reductio ad absurdum of Providentialism', draws attention to Moritz, Wezel, and Wieland.