Appeared in Vol. 4 No. 1

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Among the problems plaguing modern man, none is more significant than a certain pervasive uncertainty about free will. Thinkers of every stripe have approached this question from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, psychology and science, with the weight of modern opinion falling on the determinist side. For those recognizing the existence of a creative God, the problem has been made more dif cult by the attempt to reconcile human freedom with the Divine creation of the specific traits of the individual personality traits which affect choice. In this context, Patrick O’Neil treats the free will issue below, surveying its history and offering a solution of his own.

Throughout the long and numerous philosophical struggles that have sprung up between the sages and schools of the West over the issue of free will, there has been an eccentric proclivity on the part of all the disputants, of every stripe, and in every age, to circumvent and impede all confrontations that might render the question clear. Battle has been joined on every possible side issue, with the net result that, while all permutations of theological heresy and philosophical peculiarity have been realized in the position of one group or another, a philosophy of free will has never been developed.


In the development of a final theory on free will, of course, questions of dogmatic theology cannot be excluded. Nonetheless, the introduction of theological issues prior to the resolution of the most basic, intrinsic elements of the free will problem has hopelessly clouded the issue.

Thomas Hobbes, the great determinist philosopher, claimed that the concept of free will was the invention of the Romanish religion.(1) This assertion was simplistic and inaccurate, for we find undeniable references to the determinist/libertarian controversy in the writings of Epicurus, whose suggested retort to the barbs of the deniers of freedom was: “The man who says that all things come to pass by necessity cannot critize one who denies that all things come to pass by necessity for he admits that this too happens of necessity.”(2) In the late Stoics, also, we find much agonizing over the problem of freedom.

Despite the incorrectness of the Hobbesian observation on the papist origins of the concept of free will, it is apparent that free will did not come into a vital position in philosophy until the rise of Christianity in the first and second centuries in the Roman Empire. The centrality of the issue of free will for Christianity becomes apparent when one surveys the number of theological disputes engenered over this topic. Origen of Alexandria fell into several of his errors primarily, it would seem, on account of his over-emphasis on the power of human free will. Because an event such as the ending of one’s life should not be allowed to thwart the freedom of the will to repent, Origen accepted a theory of reincarnation (influenced, no doubt, by Platonism and Neoplatonism), whereby one returned to new earthly existences until one had firmly rooted one’s choice in good or evil.(3) In the same vein, Origen accepted a doctrine of apocatastasis(4)-the possibility of the redemption of the damned. Again, we can see that he almost certainly was led to this conclusion by belief in an exaggerated concept of the free will. For Origen, there was no ethical state, including reprobation, out of which a person could not move himself at any time by the exercise of the faculty of the will.

Later, this excessive reliance on the power of the will caused the Egyptian Church Father (turned heretic) to assert that the blessed souls and angels in heaven in the enjoyment of the Beatific Vision were capable in themselves of choosing evil and sin,(5) although subsequent Fathers(6) and Doctors(7) of the Church repudiated this view most vehemently. (Origen’s retention of hell in addition to the purgatorial system of transmigration of souls and hints of post-mortem purgatory indicate that so complete was his panvolitionalism that he could conceive of eternal damnation, but only as the result of the will’s alterable, but unaltered, everlasting reoccurring act.)

The orthodox doctrines of free will went on to be developed among the Greek Fathers of the Church in the Eastern Roman Empire, where the Gnostic and Manichaean sects preached doctrines of inexorable fate and predestinarianism. In opposition to these deterministic teachings, men like St. Gregory of Nyssa(8) and St. John Chrysostom(9) fortified the faithful in the East with theories of human moral freedom. Titus Bostrensis, a less well-known figure of the Greek branch of the Church, in his attack on the Manichaean heretics stated, “It is a benefit to man to be capable of committing sin.” (10) He was among the first to state the accepted doctrine of the Church on the necessity of knowledge and free will for the commission of sin.(11)

St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo-himself a converted Manichaean-combined arguments for free will with the Western concern over the Pelagian heresy. Pelagius managed to be so totally committed to the concept of the absolute freedom of the will that he denied the effects of the fall of man upon the freedom of the will of man, and went on ultimately to deny the existence of original sin.(12) The feeling that, if a man is truly free, his will must be the totally controlling factor in his spiritual destiny, led the Pelagians to deny sacramentality, sacerdotalism, the efficacy of good works, and the role of grace in salvation.

When St. Augustine first became involved in the free will controversies, he asserted, against the fatalistic doctrines of the Manichaeans, the orthodox Catholic position on the existence and importance of free will.(13) Later, however, when he had to confront and combat the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians, the north African Father seemed to go to the other extreme, asserting a predestinarianism against the ultravoluntarism of the Pelagians.

Both the writings of Augustine(14) on the subject of free will and the similar attacks by his predecessor Paulus Orosius(15) against the heresies of the Pelagians are subject to differing interpretations by predestinarians and voluntarists. Church teaching became clear only when the influence of the above mentioned Church Fathers of the Greek East, along with later Greeks like Didymus of Alexandria,(16) were absorbed by the West and used to refine the confused approaches of the Western Fathers, especially Augustine.

By the time of Frowinus,(17) St. Anselm of Canterbury,(18) and St. Bernard of Clairvaux,(19) the general position of Catholic theologians on the doctrine of free will was fully worked out: God, the Creator, has omnipotence and omniscience, including foreknowledge; His rational creatures, including man, have a faculty called will by which they are at once able to commit acts of sin and virtue and are at the same time responsible for those value-bearing acts. The Fall of Adam weakened and exposed the frail will of man, but did not destroy it, and the grace of God is necessary to salvation, but no handicap upon the freedom of the will.

While this set the basic theological questions at rest for a time, it touched not at all the underlying philosophical problems. The great doctors of the High Middle Ages such as Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and St. Bonaventure all accepted the standard orthodox positions concerning human and angelic free will, but they did not explore the reconcilability of their general psychological and metaphysical theories with their theological positions on free will. Had they done so, many would have had to abandon parts of their psychological theories, or slip from orthodoxy.(20)

With the coming of the Reformation, free will became again a matter of great controversy, with Luther(21) and Calvin(22) assaulting the free will theories of the Roman Catholic Church. Before the dust of battle stirred by the Counter-Reformation had settled, the Council of Trent had reaffirmed the traditional teachings of the Church on the question of free will,(23) but further divisions immediately appeared in both Catholic and Calvinist thought. In the Catholic world, a dispute broke out between the adherents of the Thomistic doctrine of grace (Dominicans), the doctrine of grace of Suarez and Bonaventure (Franciscans), and Molina’s doctrine (Jesuits). The implications of the competing theories in regard to free will were enormous, but the ferocity and divisiveness of the debate finally prompted Pope Clement VIII to impose silence on the disputants.(24) To add to the confusion of the grace/free will controversy, an orthodox neo-Augustinianism was brought into the battle by a fourth belligerent, the Augustinian Order.

Scarcely had this controversy died down when Cornelius Jansenius, a Roman Catholic bishop in Holland, published his Augustinus, a monumental study of that Father’s writings with a heavily predestinarian slant. His work and ideas became the rallying point for the sect of the Jansenists, particularly those in France, who, while not specifically denying free will, went so far in their predestinarian views as to render it virtually impossible for free will to find a place within their system. The opinions of the Jansenists were condemned by Pope Innocent X,(25) although their influence continued in France for decades.

In Protestantism, at the same time, a rift was appearing in Calvinistic doctrine. Ordinary Calvinist teaching maintained the position that the will of man was never free, at any time, even before the sin of Adam; but the Dutch theologian Arminius, besides adhering to Socinianism, developed a theory that man possessed free will, but lost it as another of the ill effects of the Fall of Adam. The orthodox Calvinism was known as supralapsarianism, while the Arminian heterodoxy was labeled infralapsarianism.


While these theological debates raged, numerous secular philosophers, such as Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, entered the fray against the concept of free will. Typical of the arguments that these British deists produced are those of John Locke, who maintained that it was an absurdity to ask if the will were free, because freedom is the ability of the will to carry out its volitions, not its ability to decide upon those volitions.(26) The ability to decide upon volitions would require, according to the Lockean argument, a regression ad infinitum of previous volitions to make each subsequent volition free. Locke went on to compare the seeming restraints on Divine Freedom-the inability to choose evil and the necessity of perfect happiness-with the reduced range he allowed for human freedom, by way of a defense of his position.(27)

It is fascinating to note that Kant, in favoring human free will had, occasion to confound the type of freedom reputedly enjoyed by the Deity with the clearly more circumscribed freedom claimed for His creatures, even as the antagonist of free will, Locke, had done. Kant claimed that one and the same will could be in the world of necessity in appearance, and yet free in actuality, as belonging to the thing itself.(28) Kant insisted that the requirements of morality dictated that freedom of the will must be assumed.(29) Although he admitted that the question `why’ arose concerning the acts of freedom, he went on to insist that this question was an unanswerable one. He regarded this unanswerability as appropriate, in that he saw that question as a spill-over from the realm of appearances to the realm of things in themselves.(30) For Kant, freedom was precisely a lack of causation.

This equation of freedom with a lack of causation did not originate with Kant, but was, in all likelihood, a carry-over from the thought of David Hume, who maintained that equation, but who utilized it as an argument against the existence of genuine free will.(31) This idea of freedom as an absence of causation has since become current, and can be found in the works of numerous modern, non-voluntarist ethicians. (32)

This approach to the problem of free will, where will is attacked or defended under the definition of “uncaused action,” seems to have originated with the British empiricists. In any case, it does not appear true to the conception of free will as it is to be found in the writings of the schoolmen and their patristic predecessors. Furthermore, the use of this definition by voluntarists to escape the problem of how to break the cycle of caused motivation/willing that seems to doom free will, seems the merest sophistry without the support of the Kantian antinomy of free will.(33) With the Third Antinomy intact, however, the anti-voluntarist position is rendered as inexplicable as that of the voluntarist. The thesis of the Third Antinomy demonstrated that without an act of absolute spontaneity (Kantian freedom) to initiate the system of the law of nature, one would have to postulate an infinitely regressing series of causes, which is not acceptable to the human intellect. The antithesis in the Third Antinomy demonstrated that a transcendental freedom of absolute spontaneity was opposed to the law of causality, and, hence, quite inconceiveable for the human understanding.

So long as this antinomy was perceived to hold true, neither freedom nor determinism could claim, over against its opposing doctrine, to be understandable and thoroughly logical. But the fatal flaw in Kant’s antinomy is the confusion of divine freedom with the freedom of creatures. To Kant, living in the deist-dominated Enlightenment, with the excessive claims of the nascent science to be potentially capable of discovering an ordered cosmic system of natural laws that could account for all the phenomena of the universe, scientific cause-and-effect analysis posed the greatest threat to the idea of human freedom. In his attempt to circumvent this difficulty, Kant ignored a far more serious obstacle that confronts the postulate of freedom for finite wills.

The type of freedom defended in the thesis of Kant’s Third Antinomy of Pure Reason could only be the libertas of a Deity, a freedom restrained only by the nature of the Deity, and protected from the problem of causation by the simultaneous motivation and willing in the eternity of the Deity. The uncreated nature of the Deity eliminated the problem of His will’s being motivated by factors not originating in the choice of His will. Since the reasons for God’s willing can only have their origin in His nature, He is the sole source of what moves His will, and no other source can be imagined. In this way, He cannot be said to be determined, for if “to be determined” is to be distinguished from the “state of being at liberty”, the determined entity must be determined ultimately by something outside itself.

The problem of freedom for temporal or aeviternal wills arises in the fact that whatever sources their primary motivations can be seen as having, those sources will, perforce, be traceable to causes prior to the existence of the being. This is the case not only where there is ascription of volitional causation to material sources such as heredity, environmental conditioning, humors, or astrology, but also where dispositions residing in the soul are cited as a source, or indeed as `the’ source, of motivations for actions. No matter how many steps backwards one takes, claiming that a particular set of dispositions, proclivities, or inclinations is the result of acts of the will, one is always left with the problem of accounting for the motivations of the anterior act of willing. In a temporal or aeviternal creature, one is then forced to posit a first set of motivating principles (or a single motivating principle) or a first disposition, which, although it motivates the will, has never been chosen by an act of that will. When forced back to this position, the voluntarist seems compelled either to abandon free will or to assert that it involves a mystery beyond human ken.

The central problem, then, of the concept of free will in finite creatures revolves about the origins of the initial inclinations which a soul possesses in order to have any motivation whatsoever. Besides the inconceivability of infinite regression, any infinite regression in causes of motivation for a finite being (angelic, demonic, or human) would necessarily render the creature unfree, for the source of the motivations would extend outside the creature, on account of his being temporal or aeviternal. If, on the other hand, we take one of the tabula rasa theories of intellect and will,(34) difficulties just as severe surface. If sense impressions (or whatsoever externals are employed by the tabula rasa theory) are the ultimate sources of human actions and volitions, then they bind or compel the will, and it can in no wise be regarded as free.

We can, as some have done, say that will “chooses in its freedom”, but this seems to suggest randomness, and despite David Hume’s equation of indeterminacy with metaphysical liberty, randomness is just not the same thing as freedom. If the will is random, then the relation of the faculty of will to the individual actions of the will are unclear. To put it more simply, if a desire is random, how can anything, such as the faculty of the will, be said to have caused it?

It is, of course, quite obvious that no introduction of intermediate steps in the willing process solves anything for free will theory. We can say that our desires, principles, and proclivities can be motivations for action, and that these proclivities are foreordained, rescuing free will by the stipulation that the will can freely choose to accept or reject these promptings by the primary motivations, and this would involve a second level of motivations, which would itself necessitate the same escape to a higher level of motivation as the first required. We are still left with an infinite regression of levels of motivation.

The difference between the freedom of an infinite, eternal Being like God, and that of finite beings like spirits and men, is that in God reasons, i. e. motivations, are simply of Himself. They can present no limitation on His freedom in that, although one could phrase it that they control Him, yet they are indistinguishably a part of Him, and can have no prior or outside cause, but result only from His Being. It is the Eternity of the Deity, His Sourcelessness, Aseity, and so on, that make the conceptualization of the freedom of God so remarkably simple, especially when compared with the difficulties arising in conceptualizing the existence of freedom in finite creatures.


Let us boldly explore the idea that the initial dispositions of an individual’s soul may be instilled at creation and yet that individual be said to have freedom of will. The normal view would insist that if the most basic dispositions of a soul (mind) are the result of its creation, it is a mere unfree tool, moved by the power of a Creator who is ultimately responsible for the actions caused by these dispositions. No matter how hard we attempt to deny this conclusion, we seem unable to do so by the ordinary routes tried. Such a view is bound to sound to us like the most rigid fatalism. Like the apostate Moslem poet, we may feel:

We are no other than a moving row

Of magic Shadow-shapes that come and go

Round with the Sun-illumin’d Lattern held

In Midnight by the Master of the show;

But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays

Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days:

Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,

And one by one back in the closet lays.(35)

What, however, if we were to look at the moral agent created by God as an integral whole? When God’s will chooses to create a moral agent, does He choose only a moral blank to be filled in later by environmental determinants? Does He choose to create a being with free will only, which free will establishes the proclivities of the complete person? Or, does He create a full moral being with all the requisite powers, including the needed initial motivations?

If we look at the creation of a moral agent as a necessarily whole act, then the old free will/deterministic dichotomy breaks down. Instead of initial proclivities being imposed upon a free, created will, we may conceive of a will as being understood as necessarily containing initial motivation. If God’s foreknowledge contains all potential persons, both those who will be created, and those who will never come to be, as some have maintained,(36) then God does not choose to impose a particular set of dispositions and providential circumstances upon a moral agent. That would imply that there were somehow a set number of persons, without characteristics, but yet somehow distinguishable, who were to be, and the choice presented to a Creator is what these people are to be like, i. e. what characteristics are to be imposed upon them.

In fact, such a view seems to suggest that moral agents could be differentiated without the contents of their moral agency, that somehow persons are distinguishable without such differentia as intellectual capacity, initial dispositions, or providential circumstances of their lives. A far more sensible view would be that there are open to the choice of the Creator, not a selection of certain attributes to be imposed upon moral agents to be created, but a choice, rather, of which moral agents are in fact to be created, and which are to remain merely unrealized possibilities in the mind of the Deity.

Under the first view, we would look at two moral agents about to be created as, let us say, A and B. God, then, in deciding to give A the moral attributes x, y, and z, and to give B the moral attributes u, v, and w, could be seen as foreclosing any true operation of free will in these two creatures, for He would be imposing, for whatever reasons, causes of behavior upon creatures, causing the creatures to act in ways not of their own choosing-precisely because the motivations are imparted to a being without consent or responsibility, and because the cause of action extends to an agency prior to the creation of the being-in our particular example, back to a being’s Creator.

In the solution to the free will problem offered in this essay, we would hold that the moral attributes and providential circumstances constitute part of the essence of any moral being created; therefore, rather than attributes x, y, and z being correctly said to be superadded to being A, we have, in fact, Axyz constituting one potential being. When we ask why A was not born with attributes u, v, and w, we are really asking why being Axyz was created at all, why did not the choice fall to the creation of being Auvw instead. That is, of course, a legitimate question, but one not at all involving the free will question.

This identity relationship between potential and actual beings, while seeming to be perhaps a scholastic sleight-of-hand, is nevertheless the pivot upon which our free will argument turns. If there is an identity relationship between the idea of a potential being as it is in the mind of God and the actual being which is created in conformity with this idea, then the initial proclivities that God creates as part of the wills of creatures are not external impingements upon them, but internal and co-extensive with the self of these moral agents in a way analogous to the limitations that God’s nature places upon itself.

God’s omnipotence does not mean that He can make a square circle, or sin, or in any way violate His own nature (as St. Thomas Aquinas makes quite clear)(37). For although God can do anything, those “projects”, like the squaring of the circle, which He cannot perform-being inherent contradictions-are nothing. If we take finite beings, there is an analogy in the limitation of their freedom with that `limitation’ placed upon the freedom of God. The finite being’s freedom cannot go contrary to its nature any more than God’s will can contradict His Nature. The central difference between finite and infinite freedom revolves around the fact that while God is bound by no law or will external to His nature, finite wills do not always enjoy the same immunity to contravention by laws and natures outside their own. A distinction must be made here, however, between the fulfillment of a thing willed and the existence of free will. In finite beings, there is practically no relationship between the possibility of the fulfillment of the thing willed and the existence of free will. Sin and virtue, the possible results of the exercise of the liberum arbitrium,(38) do not require the actual accomplishment of the evil or virtuous act intended in order to be sin or virtue, as innumerable theologians have made clear.(39) The mere ability to will freely, quite apart from the accomplishment of the thing willed, is the heart of free will.

Now in the case of the defense of free will, there is no claim that the will of the finite creature attains its object. We are concerned only that the being whose will moves it can properly have ascribed to it the demerit or merit of particular actions or intentions. If a man chooses to do an action as a result of his motivations x, y, and z which are part of the essence of the moral being that he necessarily is, then he can be said to have been compelled by his nature to will as he willed, but only in an imprecise way of speaking. The `he’ is a vacuous grammatical construct, necessary to make some points linguistically, but dangerous if allowed to stand unchallenged in the present circumstance.

If a moral agent owes his behavior to nothing other than his own essential nature, operating through a power called volition, and that essential nature is not the optional choice of any other being, nor the product of chance, nor ascribable to an event, agency, or power lying outside the nature of that being, then that moral agent may be said to be free.

To the obvious charge that our above-presented solution is a piece of verbal sophistry, hiding the real issues in the freedom-of-the-will problem, the only retort can be that the analysis offered by this approach sees the problem as, at heart, a verbal snag. Something much to be noted is the role that Divine foreknowledge comes to play in rescuing the concept of free will in this solution. A fine irony exists in that the omniscience of God, and most particularly His foreknowledge, have long been seen as a major obstacle to the defense of any concept of human free will.(40)


From the thumbnail sketch of the history of the free will controversy over the centuries that has been presented, it should be apparent that the vast bulk of the time and energy that have been expended by the disputants in the various battles that have raged in Western philosophy over this issue have been spent in attempts to clarify side issues. It is clear beyond any doubt that if free will can be, or has been, substantially altered by original sin, divine grace, demonic molestation,(41) or anything else, a theological controversy over such free-will-related issues is doomed to confusion or incoherence until the central philosophical question of the abstract possibility of the operation of free will in a finite, temporal being can be explicated.

The explanation of the effect of the Fall of Adam on the use of human free will leaves us still with the problem of how Adam could in the prelapsarian state have freely sinned; the answer to the question of divine grace’s role in the economy of salvation leaves us with the question of how grace may be accepted or rejected freely; and even an account of free will that emphasizes the role of demonic interference with human free will, must face the question of how the demons freely fell. The philosophical issue of free will must be dealt with prior to the addition of specific theological difficulties, and this essay has followed that design.


1 Thomas Hobbes, The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance, “Introduction”, in The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, ed. Sir William Molesworth, (John Bohn, London, 1839; reprinted Scientia Aalen, 1962), V, pp. 1-2.

2 Epicurus, “Vatican Collection”, Frag. XL, in The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers: The Complete Extant Writings of Epicurus, Epictetus, Lucretius, and Marcus Aurelius, ed. Whitney J. Oates, (Modern Library/Random House, New York, 1940), p. 42.

3 Origen of Alexandria, Contra Celsnm, IV, xvii (Pg 17. 1047-50).

4 Origen, Perl Archon, I, 6 (PG 11. 169).

5 Ibid., 1, v, 3 (PG 11. 158-60).

6 E.g., St. Agustine, Gen. ad lit., XI, vii (PL 34. 433).

7 E.g., St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, Q. 62, A. 8.

8 E.g., Gregory Nyssenus, Contra Fatnm, (PG 45. 145-74).

9 John Chrysostom, De Fato et Providentia (PG 50. 749-74).

10 Titus Bostrensis, Adversus Manich’., II, iv [PG 18. 1139-421.

11 Ibid. II, xxi (PG 18.1175-8).

12 St. Augustine, Epist. CLXXV, 6 (PL 18. 1175-8).

13 E.g., St. Augustine, De Duabus Animabns Contra Manich., XII (PL 42.105-8).

14 E.g., St. Augustine, De Gratia et Libero Arbitro (PL 44. 881-912).

15 Paulus Orosius, Liber Apoligeticus Contra Pelagins De Arbitril Libertate (PL 31. 1173-1212).

16 Didymus of Alexandria in his Liber Contra Manichaeos argues that the devil was created with free will in order to be’ spontaneously good [xii (PG 39. 1099-1102)].

17 Frowinus, De Libero Arbitrio ]frag.] (PL 179. 1801).

18 St. Anselm of Canterbury, Dialogus de Libero Arbitrio (PL 158. 489-506); Tractatus de Concordia Praescientia et Praedestinationes nec non Gratiae Del cum Libero Arbitrio (PL 158. 507-542).

19 St. Bernard of Clairvaux (PL 182. 1001-1030).

20 E.g., St. Thomas Aquinas, who accepted the primacy of intellect over will (Summa Theologica, I, Q. 3, A. 3), borrowing that concept from Aristotle (N. Ethics 10. 7. 1177a20), is in conflict with John Duns Scotus who finds the will to have primacy over the intellect (IV Sent., dist. 49, 4). If the Thomist position is pursued, it can ultimately render all sin the result of non-culpable ignorance-a position with which St. Thomas himself would have nothing to do.

21 E.g., vide Luther, The Bondage of the Will.

22 Calvin, Instit., II.

23 Trent, Sess. VI, can. iv-v.

24 De Auxillis.

25 31 May 1653 (cf. Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, ed. Bannwort, 1908, nn. 1093, 1095).

26 John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, II, xxi, 14-25.

27 Ibid., 50-1

28 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, B xxviii.

29 Ibid., Bxxix.

30 Ibid., B 517.

31 David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, II, iii, 1.

32 E.g., vide Stephen Ross, The Nature of Moral Responsibility, (Wayne  State University Press, Detroit, 1973), pp. 209-214. 33 Kant. Critique of Pure Reason, B 472-6.

34 E.g., John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, II, i.

35 Rubalyat of Omar Khayyam, trans. Edward Fitzgerald, lxviii-lxix.

36 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, Q. 14, AA. 9&13.

37 Ibid., I, Q. 27, A. 3.

38 Liberam arbitrInm was the capacity of finite wills to choose between sin and viture; it was sharply contrasted in the schema of the schoolmen with libertas, the higher freedom enjoyed by God, which freedom does not partake of the capacity for sin or virtue.

39 St. Augustine, Contra Faustum, XXII, xxvii (PL 42. 418-9).

40 St. Anselm of Canterbury, Tractatus de Concordia Praescientiae et Praedistinationes nee non Gratiae Dei cum Libero ArbiMo (PL 158. 507-542).

41 Quietism, a movement of passive resignation, with roots in pantheistic mysticism, ranged from the more moderate varieties of Fenelon, Lacombe, and Matteo Petrucci to the excesses of Molinos, who claimed that sins committed by people in the state of quite submission to Divine Will could only be explained by demonic agency.