Provvidenza e preghiera nel pensiero di Eleonore Stump = Providence and Prayer in Eleonore Stump's thought


Petitionary prayer is often viewed with suspicion by philosophers as an impure form of prayer which, in making requests to God, runs the risk of opposing belief in Providence. This objection, in the context of the analytic philosophy of religion, was introduced by Dewi Z. Phillips on Kantian suggestions, and was formulated by Stump in terms of the compatibility between (1) the belief in the efficacy and usefulness of petitionary prayer and (2) the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good God. After having considered, in the first section, the difficulties raised in modern time and, in the second, having contextualized the thought of analytical authors, I will focus on Stump's account. She promoted a change of perspective: she became interested in how this type of prayer is presented in biblical texts, especially in contexts where the question of suffering is addressed. The historicalcritical reconstruction of her proposal will allow us to grasp Stump's originality and legacy, highlighting two aspects. The first, more theoretical, suggests that the prayer of petition is under-determined by the conception of divine attributes and, conversely, can help to understand them correctly. The second, more historic, highlights the importance of Aquinas' thought, whose interpretation involves the proposal of a model in which the prayer of petition is part of the project of a provident God.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i18285368aXXXVIIn104p26

Keywords: Providence; Petitionary Prayer; Religious Language; Aquinas; Stump

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