The Necessities of Perfect Freedom



This article is a reflection on Augustine's suggestion that Christians have significant theological reasons to accept that freedom need not be correlated with having choices. Following his lead, I explore questions about freedom and agency raised by the perfect freedom of the saints in heaven, Jesus' sinless earthly life and the freedom with which the triune God is eternally blessed. My thesis is that those who worship the triune God and praise the sinless perfection of Christ and the heavenly saints have reason to accept a ‘normative’ conception of freedom, according to which certain kinds of necessity are not merely compatible with perfect freedom but intrinsic to it.