Authored by: John Marenbon

Medieval Philosophy of Religion

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  October  2014

Print ISBN: 9781844652211
eBook ISBN: 9781315729626
Adobe ISBN: 9781317546481


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Boethius made two important contributions to the philosophy of religion. In his Opuscula sacra (Short theological treatises) (hereafter OS; 1983, 2000), he used a method of logically analysing Christian doctrine that would deeply affect the medieval tradition of theology. In his final work, De consolatione philosophiae (Consolation of philosophy; hereafter Consolation; Boethius 1983, 2000) he devotes most of the last book to discussing the problem of prescience: the question of whether God’s foreknowledge of events prevents their being contingent. The solution he proposed was taken up by Aquinas, and this line of argument, as interpreted by contemporary philosophers, is considered to be one of the main ways of tackling the problem. But before these themes can be discussed, they need to be placed into the broader context of Boethius’ times, life and works.

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