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Free Will and Theism

Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns

Edited by Kevin Timpe and Daniel Speak


Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: July 5, 2016
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0198743955
ISBN-13: 978-0198743958

“It’s hard to convey in such summary fashion the richness of this collection.”

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Concerns both about the nature of free will and about the credibility of theistic belief and commitment have long preoccupied philosophers. In addition, there can be no denying that the history of philosophical inquiry into these two issues has been dynamic and, at least to some degree, integrated. In a great many cases, classical treatments of one have influenced classical treatments of the other–and in a variety of ways. Without pretending to be able to trace all the historical integrations of these treatments, there is no real question that these philosophical interrelations exist and are worthy of further exploration. In addition, contemporary discussions contain more than a few hints of suspicion that theistic belief is adversely affecting the purity of inquiry into contours of human free will.

Nevertheless, until now there has been no volume systematically exploring the relationship between religious beliefs and various accounts of free will in the contemporary domain. With a particular eye on how the former might be–either legitimately or illegitimately–affecting the latter, this collection fills an important gap in the current debate. Here, sixteen leading philosophers focus their attention on a crucial point of intellectual intersection, with surprising and illuminating results.


Daniel Speak and Kevin Timpe

The Runeburg Problem: Theism, Libertarianism, and Motivated Reasoning
Manuel R. Vargas

Libertarianism and the Problem of flip-Flopping
John Martin Fischer

The Cost of Freedom
Laura W. Ekstrom

One Hell of a Problem for Christian Compatibilists
Jerry L. Walls

Relative Responsibility and Theism
Tamler Sommers

Libertarianism and Theological determinism
Derk Pereboom

Against Theological Determinism
Timothy O’Connor

Theism Has No Implications for the Debate between Libertarianism and Compatibilism
T. J. Mawson

Libertarianism as a Naturalistic Position
Helen Steward

Agent Causation and Theism
Meghan Griffith

Bringing About Perfect Worlds
Michael J. Almeida

Divine Universal Causality and Libertarian Freedom
W. Matthews Grant

Divine Conservation and Creaturely Freedom
Neal Judisch

Divine Agency and Acting for Reasons
Rebekah L. H. Rice

God’s Freedom, God’s Character
Kevin Timpe

Immutable Freedom
Jesse Couenhoven


Kevin Timpe

Kevin Timpe is William Harry Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy at Calvin College, and a former Templeton Research Fellow at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University. His research is focused on the metaphysics of free will and moral responsibility, virtue ethics, philosophy of disability, and issues in the philosophy of religion. He is the author of Free Will: Sourcehood and its Alternatives, 2nd edn (Bloomsbury, 2012) and Free Will in Philosophical Theology (Bloomsbury, 2013). He has edited a number of volumes, including Virtues and Their Vices (OUP, 2014) and Arguing about Religion (Routledge, 2009). He is currently working (with Meghan Griffith and Neil Levy) on The Routledge Companion to Free Will.

Daniel Speak

Daniel Speak is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. He has recently served as a Visiting Research Fellow at Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Rutgers University. He thinks and writes principally about the metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology of free will and about related issues in the philosophy of religion. His articles have appeared in The Philosophical QuarterlyFaith and Philosophy, and The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, among others.


“It’s hard to convey in such summary fashion the richness of this collection. It should be essential reading for theistic philosophers interested in the intersection of theism and free will…[and] of considerable interest to non-theists who want to see what the big crossword puzzle–at least that part of the crossword puzzle that concerns free agency–looks like when philosophers with different commitments from theirs endeavor to fill in some of the squares. That interest in how things look under an alternative set of assumptions is the essence of the philosophical spirit.”

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Free Will and Theism is a helpful tool that will allow the reader to develop a good grasp of the contemporary theistic philosophical debate on free will.”

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