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Religions 2017, 8(12), 273;

Souls in the Dark: Theodicy and Domesticity in Home

Department of Religious Studies, Thorneloe University at Laurentian, 935 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6, Canada
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
PDF [181 KB, uploaded 19 December 2017]


Theodicy typically addresses the problem of evil in the public square, focusing on instances of paradigmatic evil that raise the issue broadly. Theodicy, however, also operates in the private sphere, where the conflict and chaos of family life raise doubts about God’s goodness and power. Domestic suffering—here defined as the hurt, sorrows, and heartbreaks of family life, apart from domestic abuse, which belongs to a separate category—has often been neglected by theodicists. In this article, I will analyze Marilynne Robinson’s fictional novel Home for insights into the problem of evil in the domestic realm. While it does not offer a domestic theodicy per se, Robinson’s Home sheds light on the reality of suffering love and its bias toward hope, which charts new theological pathways in theodicy that have hitherto been underexplored. View Full-Text
Keywords: Marilynne Robinson; Home; Gilead trilogy; problem of evil; theodicy; suffering love; hope Marilynne Robinson; Home; Gilead trilogy; problem of evil; theodicy; suffering love; hope
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Scott, M.S.M. Souls in the Dark: Theodicy and Domesticity in Home. Religions 2017, 8, 273.

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