Sacramentum Mundi Online

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The notion of providence sums up God’s relationship to the world as he knows, wills and executes his plan of universal salvation and leads the world to the end decreed by him.

1. Providence in non-Christian beliefs. Greek philosophy concluded that providence watched over men, because it saw the world as a rational, apt and purposeful order. This order was seen as the work of a divine Spirit pervading all things and guaranteeing the well-being of man. The word πρόνοια (providence) appears for the first time in the 5th century B.C.,…

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Ernst Niermann, “Providence”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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