Contemporary Approaches to Divine Providence and Free Will


If Judaism is predicated on personal freedom, how do we reconcile that belief with an omnipotent God? In this resource, learners will study several modern thinkers’ approaches to the issues of divine providence, divine foreknowledge, and human free will.  On the basis of these texts, students will participate in a group activity called Four Corners, which requires them to consider various positions and possible scenarios through which they will be able to clarify their own views on these philosophical issues.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how to grapple with two philosophical concepts that are in tension with one another; divine providence and human free will

  2. know some contemporary Jewish approaches to the relationship of divine providence and free will

  3. be able to examine different everyday scenarios that pose the dilemma of free will and to formulate the learner’s own position and views on the issue

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

Student handouts,poster board

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