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BOOK REVIEWS 369 On Divine Foreknowledge. (Part IV of the Concordia). By Lms DE MOLINA. Trans. Alfred J. Freddoso. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988. Pp. xii +286. $34.95. The contents of the sixteenth century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina's famous work are specified in its title: Liberi arbitrii cum gratiae donis, divina praescientia, providentia, praedestinatione et reprobatione concordia-" The Agreement of Free Choice with the Gifts of Grace, Divine Foreknowledge, Providence, Predestination, and Reprobation ." Part IV, which particularly concerns the Divine ForeĀ· knowledge, is divided into seven " Disputations," 47-53 inclusive. These deal with contingency, the presence of all things to God in eternity, God's knowledge of future contingents (including the role of the Divine Ideas), and especially the reconciliation of freedom and contingency with absolutely certain Divine Foreknowledge and Predeterminations. It is Part IV, especially Disputation 52, which contains Molina's well known teaching about the scientia media, God's "middle knowledge," i.e., eternally between the natural knowledge He has of all things possible and the free or post-volitional (according to our way of conceiving it) knowledge He has of all things actual. More precisely, by middle knowledge God knows, before any exercise of His will, what a created free agent would do in various circumstances, both those which actually will obtain and those which, although possible, will never in fact exist. The objects of such knowledge are situated between what is merely possible and what will simply he at some moment of time. They are possible with a certain hypothetical (ex hypothesi) dependence on both Divine and human free causation. Thus, in comprehending them as they are, God's absolutely necessary and prior knowledge would seem in some way dependent upon what is contingent and even created. Molina's doctrine attempts to overcome the paradox in this. A competent admirer of Molina's position, University of Notre Dame Professor Freddoso is not just a master of the Jesuit's baroque Latin, with its sesquipedalian sentences bristling with spiny technical terms. He also shows himself to be a fine logician (earlier he translated portions of Ockham's Summa Logicae), with an excellent understanding of scholastic theology (in areas such as the Trinity, Christology, and the Eucharist), metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of human nature . To make the translated work even more accessible, he has in his introduction briefly treated prior parts of the Concordia as preparing the stage for Part IV, has related Molina's concerns to those of present day philosophers of religion, and has made clear the agreement as well 370 BOOK REVIEWS as the main difference between Molina and his " Banezian " opponents, whose position he summarizes from the 20th century theologian-philosopher , Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. In addition, he has graced the translation with helpful footnotes. At times these identify persons mentioned by Molina, some of whom (e.g. Richard of Middleton, William Durandus, Gregory of Rimini, or Didacus de Deza [Hispalensis]) would be less than household names today for a nonĀ·medievalist. At other times, Freddoso's notes clearly and succinctly explain items of Catholic doctrine which Molina presupposes or to which he refers. Still again, they reproduce important texts of St. Thomas connected with points Molina is making. And something which I welcomed, Freddoso uses his notes frequently to recall and clarify premises of earlier arguments to which Molina later simply alludes without restatement . The translation itself is from the modern critical edition of the Concordia by Johannes Rabeneck, S.J. (Oniae et Matriti, 1953), which I would like to have seen reproduced on facing pages. Freddoso's version is accurate to the point of being literal. Despite that, however, it is amazingly readable. He does on occasion have difficulty with terms like complexio (which he specially notes on page 10) and ratio: whether to understand them subjectively or objectively-but then, doesn't everyone have the same problem? Again, while one might wonder about sentences as long as nineteen lines (e.g. page 178) , they are in fact the legacy of Molina himself (cf. Disp. 52, n. 19, Rabeneck, p. 346, where the Latin runs 14 lines). Freddoso speaks of Molina's " lumbering " prose. But at the same...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 369-371
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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