Luis Molina, a Spanish theologian, born in Cuenca in 1535, died in Madrid, Oct. 12, 1600. He entered the society of Jesus in early life, completed his philosophical and theological studies at Ooimbra, and was professor of theology at Evora in Portugal for 20 years. Among his works are De Justitia et Jure (6 vols., Cuenca, 1592, and Mentz, 1659), and Commentarii in Primam Partem D. Thomm (2 vols., Cuenca, 1593). His fame rests chiefly on his Concordia, in which he undertook to reconcile the freedom of the human will with God's foreknowledge and foreordination. The peculiar system set forth in this work, called scievtia media, Molina derived from his Jesuit master Fonseca, who avowed his responsibility for it when it was afterward most bitterly denounced. The doctrine of Molina was soon violently assailed by the Dominicans, and it was even denounced to the inquisition at Val-ladolid. The controversy became a quarrel between two great religious orders, the partisans of Molina being called Molinists and their antagonists Thomists, from St. Thomas Aquinas. The dispute was at length brought before Pope Clement VIII., and a special committee of cardinals was appointed by him in 1597 to examine into the matter.
After years of discussion they reported, and in 1609 Paul V. decided that both the Thomist and the Molinist system could be safely taught. The Jesuit Suarez modified Molina's system in a sense opposed to free will, and inconsistent with the hitter's doctrine. In our own times Molina's doctrine has been openly taught in Rome, and is in favor with many Dominicans. His famous hook was first published with the title Liheri Arbitrii cum Gratiae Donis, Divina Prascitia, Procidentia, Praedestinatione et Repro-batione Concordia (4to, Lisbon, 1588). An appendix containing a defence of his system appeared in 1589; and editions of the entire work were printed at Lyons in 1593, at Venice in 1594, and at Antwerp in 1595.