foreordination


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Combining the uncertainty over Pahaana's arrival with the certainty of its foreordination and the necessity for some evildoers to be punished, mythic prophetic discourse was used as a justification for seizing the moment or refusing to take action on the basis of different, but equally valid, interpretations of prophecy.
The claim of causal foreordination aside, this is a pretty accurate summary of the book's main themes.