Il concetto di provvidenza nella filosofia ellenistica e la sua ricezione in ambito biblico-cristiano = The Concept of Providence in Hellenistic Philosophy and its reception in the Biblical-Christian context


The notion of Providence is born with the Greek word prόnoia which, however, originally meant "premeditation" (of a crime) or "design" of an artefact, and had nothing to do with religion. It was Plato in the Timaeus who adopted the word from the common language to indicate the rational and benevolent principle that inspired the anonymous God, which he defined as dēmiourgόs (also this word originally meant a professional technician, for example, a doctor or an architect) in his work of shaping the cosmos. The doctrine of divine Providence was taken up by Middle Platonism, and with it the need to "justify" the divinity for the presence of evil in the world, what Leibniz will call "theodicy". Stoicism also supported Providence, but here there is no "theodicy" because in Stoic philosophy rationality and beneficial purpose are intrinsic to the cosmic process and therefore there is no external architect to be charged and absolved. Christian authors of the first centuries recycled the arguments of the Platonists in support of Providence, despite the fact that the word prόnoia never appears in the New Testament, nor is there any Hebrew equivalent in the Tanak. Perhaps there is some compatibility problem between the philosophical theory of Providence and the biblical-Christian view of God.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i18285368aXXXVIn103p32

Keywords: Providence (divine); Theodicy (ancient); Platonism; Stoicism; Church Fathers

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