Will There be Free Will in Heaven?

Will There be Free Will in Heaven? : Freedom, Impeccability and Beatitude

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Just before Christmas 1999, various prominent public figures, teachers, clergymen and others received a set of ten religious questions from the BBC's "Today" programme. All were predictable save one: "Will there be free will in heaven?" This book addresses this important question. Simon Gaine sets out the arguments of two modern philosophers, one who concludes that heaven is undesirable because it excludes freedom by excluding the possibility of sin (Wall), and the other who responds that an orthodox notion of heaven in fact implies the real possibility of sin (Donnelly). He shows how such modern concerns have arisen against the background of theologians such as Suarez, who limits freedom in the face of heavenly impeccability, and asks whether a high value placed on freedom can be successfully combined with heavenly impeccability. He then goes on to investigate the theories of Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, two theologians who hold a high view of freedom in general as well as heavenly impeccability, but they are found wanting.
Gaine then introduces an alternative conception of freedom through an account of Servais Pinckaers' connection of two different ideas of freedom ("indifference" and "excellence") with two different moral theologies. He applies these two conceptions to eschatology.He concludes that the most pleasing theory combines freedom for excellence and an intrinsic theory of impeccability develops this suggestion by drawing on and developing some ideas found in Thomas Aquinas.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 128 pages
  • 138.7 x 227.6 x 18mm | 390.1g
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0567089509
  • 9780567089502
  • 1,819,713

Table of contents

'Will There Be Free Will in Heaven?'; Freedom, Necessity, and the Voluntary: Francisco Suarez; Freedom, Infinite and Finite - Duns Scotus; Beatitude, Perpetuity and Impeccability - Duns Scotus; Fruition, Freedom and Indifference - William of Ockham; Two Freedoms, Two Moral Systems; Two Freedoms, Two Eschatologies?; There Will Be Free Will in Heaven.
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Review quote

Fr. Gaine has produced an erudite, focused, and clearly written book. By directing our attention to what may at first sight appear to be a rather abstruse, and ultimately insoluble question, he not only puts us through a theological workout, encouraging us to exercise our (strictly) theological skills, but in doing so greatly clarifies the necessary distinctions needed for him to reach his answer concerning heaven, and generates much useful reflection on how one might understand free will and freedom on earth. Philip McCosker, Reviews in Religion and Theology, Volume 11, Issue 4, September 2004 'The issues raised in this volume about divine and human freedom are very much on the theological and philosophical agenda...Gaine's book makes a significant contribution to this wider field. Indeed this volume is a careful, accessible and important contribution to this fascinating area of debate.' Lindsey Hall, University of Bristol, UK, International Journal of Systematic Theology--Sanford Lakoff "this book is to be welcomed as a concise yet comprehensive discussion of a very important issue in moral theology." Hugo Meynell, Heythrop Journal
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About Simon Francis Gaine

Fr. Simon Francis Gaine, O.P. is Catholic Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh College of Art, UK.
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