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the divine providence Options
lazarius
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:53:37 PM

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I remember once using the article with this word in a conversation with my teacher. He at once checked me and said that the word goes without an article.

https://books.google.com/books?id=i4myKYyoPzIC&printsec=frontcover&q=%22the%20divine%20providence%22

Quote:
Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.


Is it that it can be used with an adjective?


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Romany
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:02:47 PM
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I think the answer would depend on whether one was a theist or not - and also what kind of theist.

In the society that I have always lived in "providence" has the principal meaning of: "Timely preparation for future eventualities." (Oxford Dictionary) Thus neither I, nor anyone with whom I communicate, would use "the".

If, however, one had been brought up to consider "Providence" to be synonymous with a particular god, one would use an article.
lazarius
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:31:11 PM

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Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Romany wrote:
In the society that I have always lived in "providence" has the principal meaning of: "Timely preparation for future eventualities." (Oxford Dictionary) Thus neither I, nor anyone with whom I communicate, would use "the".

Whatever society you have lived in, you shouldn't have been let into the UK. I'll write to Her Majesty that she is not living up to her title - defender of the faith.

But to get back to our sheep, I thought the word divine made it clear what was meant.

Romany wrote:
If, however, one had been brought up to consider "Providence" to be synonymous with a particular god, one would use an article.

Yes, it's this meaning and it's with this meaning my teacher taught me not to use the article.


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NKM
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:48:09 PM

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I have never seen or heard the word "providence" used with an article, unless perhaps in a sarcastic manner, as something like "the providence of the prodigal."

The basic meaning of the word is as Romany says: "Timely preparation for future eventualities." However, in my experience it virtually always means "what God provides." We may speak of "Divine Providence" or just "Providence", with or without capitalization, but always without an article.

(I can speak only for American English, but I'd be surprised if the general U.K. usage were much different.)

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 5:56:45 PM

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It's true that 'providence' alone does not take an article.
However, a noun phrase beginning with 'providence' does.

Providence is a virtue which is not easily taught.
The providence he showed proved that his parents had taught him well.


"Divine Providence" or sometimes "Providence" is capitalised and is a title (like a name) basically meaning 'God'. It is very old-fashioned, and not likely to be found except in religious writings which are trying to sound 'Biblical', or in 'period' novels or drama.

prov·i·dence n.
. . .
4. Providence God

American Heritage

Providence n
(Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity God, esp as showing foreseeing care and protection of his creatures

Collins English Dictionary

providence noun
mass noun
1 God or nature as providing protective care.
‘I live out my life as Providence decrees’
2 Timely preparation for future eventualities.
‘it was considered a duty to encourage providence’

Oxford English Dictionary

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:59:54 PM

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lazarius wrote:
I remember once using the article with this word in a conversation with my teacher. He at once checked me and said that the word goes without an article.

https://books.google.com/books?id=i4myKYyoPzIC&printsec=frontcover&q=%22the%20divine%20providence%22

Quote:
Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.


Is it that it can be used with an adjective?


The phrase "devine providence" is a collocation with specific usage. Depending on one's point of view, it can serve as a synecdoche for Fate, Kismet, Karma, or whatever happens to me that I can't control.

As such, the way that it works in modern English is either "Accept the place divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events," or "Accept the place that the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events."

Critical comments are most welcome.
Whistle

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
lazarius
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 1:11:50 AM

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Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Thanks to everybody for sharing your thoughts.


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