Special Issue "Theodicy"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jill Graper Hernandez

Department of Philosophy and Classics, University of Texas, San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio TX 78249, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +(210) 458-5191
Interests: ethics; early modern philosophy; existentialism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For a topic that many have thought long-solved, theodicy in the 21st-century has thus far produced novel approaches, uncovered new dilemmas, juxtaposed itself with other philosophical and religious fields, listened to new voices, and has even been done through uncommon methodologies. Though never removed from the logical problem, theodicy at least in the near future will generate unique arguments related to the phenomenology of lived suffering, modal claims across worlds, the possibility of ameliorative analysis, narrative theodicy, and standpoint difficulties in generating theodical discourse. This special issue is dedicated to extending the platform for clear and interesting perspectives on new dimensions of theodicy, or in reclaiming perspectives on the topic that have been largely ignored in philosophy of religion.

Appropriate Topics for Submission include, among others: The special issue is very broadly construed, but with an eye towards work that draws from or is indebted to diverse philosophical and religious points of departure. Papers on a range of topics will be sought, including (but not limited to): gratuitous evil; theodicy (and anti-theodicy) informed by new or unique voices in philosophy and religion; transworld theodicy; free will defenses and natural evil; thought experiments and theodicy; and reclamation projects in theodicy.

For further information, please contact the Guest Editor: jill.hernandez@utsa.edu

Journal Information: Religions, founded in 2010, is an international, open access scholarly journal, and publishes peer-reviewed studies of religious thought and practice. Though relatively new, it has published the work of top scholars and is widely indexed. Submissions are rigorously peer reviewed, and its articles have a high citation index. The number for abstract reviews and PDF downloads per month is 20,994 and 29,481, respectively (data as of January 2017).

Author Open Access Information: Although most Open Access journals require a submission or publication fee to ensure wide distribution of their content, Contributors to this Special Issue will have their papers published for free.

Prof. Dr. Jill Graper Hernandez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (18 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-18
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessEditorial Introduction of Special Issue “Theodicy”
Religions 2018, 9(9), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090273
Received: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
PDF Full-text (136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For a topic that many have thought long-solved, theodicy in the 21st-century has thus far produced novel approaches [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Open AccessArticle Margaret Cavendish, Feminist Ethics, and the Problem of Evil
Religions 2018, 9(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040132
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
PDF Full-text (245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper argues that, although Margaret Cavendish’s main philosophical contributions are not in philosophy of religion, she makes a case for a defense of God, in spite of the worst sorts of harms being present in the world. Her arguments about those harms
[...] Read more.
This paper argues that, although Margaret Cavendish’s main philosophical contributions are not in philosophy of religion, she makes a case for a defense of God, in spite of the worst sorts of harms being present in the world. Her arguments about those harms actually presage those of contemporary feminist ethicists, which positions Cavendish’s scholarship in a unique position: it makes a positive theodical contribution, by relying on evils that contemporary atheists think are the best evidence against the existence of God. To demonstrate that Cavendish’s work should be considered as early modern feminist theodicy, this paper will briefly introduce the contemporary feminist worry about theodicy as a project, show that Cavendish shares the contemporary feminist view about situated evil, and argue that her theodicy aims for agreement about how to eradicate great moral evils while preserving free will—and so, carves out a space for future female philosophers of religion who aim to be agents of healing in the face of such evil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Theodicy, Useless Suffering, and Compassionate Asymmetry: Primo Levi, Emmanuel Levinas, and Anti-Theodicy
Religions 2018, 9(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040114
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emmanuel Levinas declares that we have reached the end of theodicy, but we have not reached the end of discussions and books and special issues on theodicy, and people continue to ask, and answer, the questions “Why?” and “Why me?” about their suffering.
[...] Read more.
Emmanuel Levinas declares that we have reached the end of theodicy, but we have not reached the end of discussions and books and special issues on theodicy, and people continue to ask, and answer, the questions “Why?” and “Why me?” about their suffering. In this essay, I would like to explore this persistence of theodicy as a topic of scholarly discussion and as an ongoing human activity, despite powerful and convincing critiques of theodicy. How might we take seriously what Levinas calls “the temptation of theodicy” and, at the same time, take seriously the ways that engaging in theodicy might be a vital part of how someone navigates her own suffering? I suggest that we look to Levinas’s asymmetrical configuration of the uselessness of suffering—that is, while the other’s suffering must remain useless to me, my suffering in response to the other’s suffering can be useful—for a parallel asymmetry concerning Levinas’s declared end of theodicy: while theodicy that justifies the other’s suffering is forbidden to me, I cannot forbid the sufferer’s theodicy in response to her own suffering. Further, I suggest that even in Levi’s harsh rejection of his fellow inmate’s implicit theodicy, Levi still seems to refrain from condemnation of his fellow sufferer, through his use of interrogative and conditional rhetorical structures. Thus, while we might agree with Levinas’s argument that we have reached the end of theodicy on a collective or historical or interpersonal or, even, personal scale, we are forbidden from declaring the end of theodicy for the other. The sufferer always has the prerogative to narrate her own suffering in the manner in which she chooses, and the imposition of meaninglessness onto her suffering, through a prohibition of all theodicy, may be a violent imposition, that mimics, in part, the violence of the imposition of meaning onto her suffering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Therapeutic Theodicy? Suffering, Struggle, and the Shift from the God’s-Eye View
Religions 2018, 9(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040099
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
From a theoretical standpoint, the problem of human suffering can be understood as one formulation of the classical problem of evil, which calls into question the compatibility of the existence of a perfect God with the extent to which human beings suffer. Philosophical
[...] Read more.
From a theoretical standpoint, the problem of human suffering can be understood as one formulation of the classical problem of evil, which calls into question the compatibility of the existence of a perfect God with the extent to which human beings suffer. Philosophical responses to this problem have traditionally been posed in the form of theodicies, or justifications of the divine. In this article, I argue that the theodical approach in analytic philosophy of religion exhibits both morally and epistemically harmful tendencies and that philosophers would do better to shift their perspective from the hypothetical “God’s-eye view” to the standpoint of those who actually suffer. By focusing less on defending the epistemic rationality of religious belief and more on the therapeutic effectiveness of particular imaginings of God with respect to suffering, we can recover, (re)construct, and/or (re)appropriate more virtuous approaches to the individual and collective struggle with the life of faith in the face of suffering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Horrendous-Difference Disabilities, Resurrected Saints, and the Beatific Vision: A Theodicy
Religions 2018, 9(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020052
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
PDF Full-text (186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marilyn Adams rightly pointed out that there are many kinds of evil, some of which are horrendous. I claim that one species of horrendous evil is what I call horrendous-difference disabilities. I distinguish two subspecies of horrendous-difference disabilities based in part on the
[...] Read more.
Marilyn Adams rightly pointed out that there are many kinds of evil, some of which are horrendous. I claim that one species of horrendous evil is what I call horrendous-difference disabilities. I distinguish two subspecies of horrendous-difference disabilities based in part on the temporal relation between one’s rational moral wishing for a certain human function F and its being thwarted by intrinsic and extrinsic conditions. Next, I offer a theodicy for each subspecies of horrendous-difference disability. Although I appeal to some claims made by Marilyn Adams for this theodicy, I reject one particular claim. I deny that one must be aware that one participates in a horrendous evil when the horrific event occurs. To develop this point and its relevance for a theodicy for horrendous-difference disabilities, I engage with Andrew Chignell’s work on infant suffering. In doing so, I show that what partly motivates the claim is a time-bias, i.e., near-bias. By rejecting this time-bias, I show how it is possible, given post-mortem life, for persons with profound cognitive disabilities to participate in horrendous evils and how these might be defeated by God. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Evil and Human Suffering in Islamic Thought—Towards a Mystical Theodicy
Religions 2018, 9(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020047
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper sheds light on the treatment of the ‘problem of evil’ and human suffering from an Islamic perspective. I begin by providing an overview of the term ‘evil’ in the Qur’an to highlight its multidimensional meaning and to demonstrate the overall portrait
[...] Read more.
This paper sheds light on the treatment of the ‘problem of evil’ and human suffering from an Islamic perspective. I begin by providing an overview of the term ‘evil’ in the Qur’an to highlight its multidimensional meaning and to demonstrate the overall portrait of this notion as it is presented in the Islamic revelation through the narrative of the prophet Job. Having established a Qur’anic framework, I will then provide a brief historical overview of the formation of philosophical and theological debates surrounding “good” and “bad/evil” and the origination of Muslim theodicean thought. This will lead us to Ghazālian theodicy and the famous dictum of the “best of all possible worlds” by one of the most influential scholars of Islamic thought, Abu Ḥāmid Ghazālī. The final section of this paper will explore the Sufi/ mystical tradition of Islam through the teachings of one of the most distinguished mystics of Islam, Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī. The conclusion of the paper will attempt to bring about a new understanding of how the so-called “problem of evil” is not presented in Islam as a problem but rather as an instrument in the actualization of God’s plan, which is intertwined with human experiences in this world—an experience that is necessary for man’s spiritual development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle The Problem of Evil and the Grammar of Goodness
Religions 2018, 9(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020043
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I consider the two venerated arguments about the existence of God: the Ontological Argument and the Argument from Evil. The Ontological Argument purports to show that God’s nature guarantees that God exists. The Argument from Evil purports to show that God’s nature, combined
[...] Read more.
I consider the two venerated arguments about the existence of God: the Ontological Argument and the Argument from Evil. The Ontological Argument purports to show that God’s nature guarantees that God exists. The Argument from Evil purports to show that God’s nature, combined with some plausible facts about the way the world is, guarantees (or is very compelling grounds for thinking) that God does not exist. Both presume that it is coherent to predicate goodness (or greatness) of God. But if Peter Geach’s claim that goodness is logically attributive is cogent, then both arguments fall to the ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Mystical Body Theodicy
Religions 2018, 9(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020041
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper I develop a new theodicy--Mystical Body Theodicy. This theodicy draws on the Christian doctrine of the mystical body of Christ to argue that some evil can be defeated by a set of three goods connected with increasing the unity of
[...] Read more.
In this paper I develop a new theodicy--Mystical Body Theodicy. This theodicy draws on the Christian doctrine of the mystical body of Christ to argue that some evil can be defeated by a set of three goods connected with increasing the unity of humanity through love. This theodicy also helps three other prominent theodicies avoid objections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle One Philosopher’s Bug Can Be Another’s Feature: Reply to Almeida’s “Multiverse and Divine Creation”
Religions 2018, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010023
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
PDF Full-text (175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Michael Almeida once told me that he thought we were just a couple of hours of conversation away from reaching deep agreement about some important topics in the philosophy of religion pertaining to God, multiverses, and modality. This paper represents my attempt to
[...] Read more.
Michael Almeida once told me that he thought we were just a couple of hours of conversation away from reaching deep agreement about some important topics in the philosophy of religion pertaining to God, multiverses, and modality. This paper represents my attempt to move this conversation forward and to seek this common ground. Specifically, I respond to Almeida’s paper entitled “The Multiverse and Divine Creation”. In the first four sections, I record my disagreement with him concerning some smaller matters. In Section 5, I try to persuade him that what he considers a ‘bug’ in the theistic multiverse is actually a feature—and a desirable one at that. In Section 6, I close by identifying some points at which our views seem to converge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle God, Evil, and Infinite Value
Religions 2018, 9(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010020
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
PDF Full-text (180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prominent approaches to the problems of evil assume that even if the Anselmian God exists, some worlds are better than others, all else being equal. But the assumptions that the Anselmian God exists and that some worlds are better than others cannot be
[...] Read more.
Prominent approaches to the problems of evil assume that even if the Anselmian God exists, some worlds are better than others, all else being equal. But the assumptions that the Anselmian God exists and that some worlds are better than others cannot be true together. One description, by Mark Johnston and Georg Cantor, values God’s existence as exceeding any transfinite cardinal value. For any finite or infinite amount of goodness in any possible world, God’s value infinitely exceeds that amount. This conception is not obviously inconsistent with the Anselmian God. As a result, the prominent approaches to the problems of evil are mistaken. The elimination of evil does not, in fact, improve the value of any world as commonly thought. Permitting evil does not, in fact, diminish the value of any world as commonly thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle The Distance between Zurich and Todtnauberg
Religions 2018, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010011
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper focuses on two poems written by Paul Celan after first encounters he had with writers who held great significance for him. In 1960 Celan met fellow Jewish poet Nelly Sachs at the Stork Inn in Zurich, and afterwards recorded the event
[...] Read more.
This paper focuses on two poems written by Paul Celan after first encounters he had with writers who held great significance for him. In 1960 Celan met fellow Jewish poet Nelly Sachs at the Stork Inn in Zurich, and afterwards recorded the event in the poem “Zürich, Zum Storchen”. Seven years later, Celan visited Martin Heidegger at his hut in the German mountains. Celan’s depiction of this encounter is found in the poem “Todtnauberg”. In this essay, I make a two-fold argument regarding the Zurich poem. First I claim that “Todtnauberg” is clearly crafted in light of the earlier Sachs text, a fact that has been overlooked by previous scholarship. As such, it is only in placing the two texts side by side that a complete understanding of “Todtnauberg” comes into view. Second I will indicate how the Zurich poem reflects key elements of an approach to the problem of evil that I term an “enestological theodicy.” Such a term needed to be coined, since this sort of theodicy does not fit in the more traditional narrative categories related to the problem of evil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Actualizing Unique Type and Token Values as a Solution to the Problem of Evil
Religions 2018, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010005
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concerning the problem of evil, I suggest that God's goodness and omnipotence causes God to want to actualize many different values and things, not solely angels in heaven, but also type unique values like independence, self-formation, creativity, and surprise, and token unique goods
[...] Read more.
Concerning the problem of evil, I suggest that God's goodness and omnipotence causes God to want to actualize many different values and things, not solely angels in heaven, but also type unique values like independence, self-formation, creativity, and surprise, and token unique goods like animals and human beings. Such a universe as ours, though, requires undisturbed indeterministic self-formation as actualized by a good God to give those token unique beings access to those type unique values and allow them the opportunity to live forever with God after completion of this self-formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Souls in the Dark: Theodicy and Domesticity in Home
Religions 2017, 8(12), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120273
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
PDF Full-text (181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On the Question at the End of Theodicy
Religions 2017, 8(12), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120268
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article argues that theodicy provides an insufficient response to suffering - one that often further victimizes those who suffering most. In it’s place, I argue for a moralist response based on Albert Camus and W. E. B. Du Bois. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle The Multiverse and Divine Creation
Religions 2017, 8(12), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120258
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I provide the account of divine creation found in multiverse theorists Donald Turner, Klaas Kraay, and Tim O’Connor. I show that the accounts Kraay and Turner offer are incoherent. God does not survey all possible worlds and necessarily actualize those universes in the
[...] Read more.
I provide the account of divine creation found in multiverse theorists Donald Turner, Klaas Kraay, and Tim O’Connor. I show that the accounts Kraay and Turner offer are incoherent. God does not survey all possible worlds and necessarily actualize those universes in the (on balance) good worlds or the worthy worlds. If God necessarily actualizes the multiverse, we have no idea which universes are parts of that multiverse. I show next that Tim O’Connor’s multiverse account of creation is also incoherent. I argue that a preferable multiverse would include a much greater variety of universes than are included in Turner, Kraay or O’Connor. In the last section I offer some concluding remarks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Theodicies as Failures of Recognition
Religions 2017, 8(11), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8110242
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the ethical failure of theodicies by integrating the perspectives of philosophical argumentation and literary reading and analysis. The paper consists of two main parts. In the first part, we propose an ethical critique of metaphysical realism by analyzing its inability
[...] Read more.
This paper examines the ethical failure of theodicies by integrating the perspectives of philosophical argumentation and literary reading and analysis. The paper consists of two main parts. In the first part, we propose an ethical critique of metaphysical realism by analyzing its inability to recognize the perspectival plurality and diversity of suffering. As theodicies seek to explain how an omnipotent, omniscient, and absolutely benevolent God could allow the world to contain evil and suffering, it can be argued that metaphysical realism—i.e., the thesis that the world possesses its own fundamental structure independently of human perspectives of conceptualization and inquiry—is a problematic starting point of theodicism. We examine the failure of recognition of others’ suffering inherent in theodicies as a failure based on the search for an overall reductive and objectifying picture (a “God’s-Eye View”) that is constitutive of metaphysical realism. The second part of the paper shows why we should include insights from imaginative literature in our attempts to understand the recognition failures of theodicies. Emphasizing the literary, philosophical, and theological relevance of various modern rewritings of the Book of Job, which has been a crucially important sub-text for many later literary works in which the protagonists render a particular kind of human experience—unmerited suffering—we turn more closely to some literary examples, such as Joseph Roth’s novels Hiob and Die Rebellion. The tensions that are created around the moral controversy of the experiences of injustice and suffering and the human and religious reasoning and justification of violence are examined. The ambiguous ending of Hiob that adds an apparently hopeful and almost fairytale-like redemption to the story plays a crucial role in the interpretation provided in the paper. By analyzing some literary examples and their relation to the literary Job tradition, the recognition-failures of theodicist attempts to provide meaning into suffering—attempts based on metaphysical realism, as argued in the first part of the paper—are highlighted. Finally, we also critically consider the charge that theodicism could only be theoretically formulated and argue that a sharp distinction between theory and practice in this area is itself an act of non-recognition, or a failure to recognize suffering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessArticle Do Not Despise the Discipline of the Almighty: God as Leather Daddy and Reading Job through Althaus-Reid
Religions 2017, 8(10), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8100214
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 1 October 2017
PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The feminist queer theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid (1952–2009) wrote about what it meant to be an “indecent theologian” and claimed that sexual stories from the margins of society can help transform theological issues. What can “indecent theology” mean for the problem of evil specifically
[...] Read more.
The feminist queer theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid (1952–2009) wrote about what it meant to be an “indecent theologian” and claimed that sexual stories from the margins of society can help transform theological issues. What can “indecent theology” mean for the problem of evil specifically as it is addressed in the book of Job? This article will use Althaus-Reid’s creative methodology, which engages in a dialogue between theology, sexual theory, politics, and personal narrative. This methodology will be applied to the hermeneutic of suffering in the book of Job. I propose that this engagement of theodicy through a queer lens and more specifically within the category of gay sadomasochism in particular, while not definitively addressing the broader problem of evil, can be a creative lens to reinterpret the book of Job. By queering Job, I offer an alternative understanding of the problem of suffering and evil that can find a space within contextual theology. The article concludes with a remark on how such a reading can be used as a liberating text for the queer community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessEssay The Thin Blue Line of Theodicy: Flannery O’Connor, Teilhard de Chardin, and Competitions between Good/Good and Evil/Evil
Religions 2018, 9(5), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9050140
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This essay explores the concept of theodicy in Flannery O’Connor’s works of fiction. O’Connor’s fiction complicates the subjects of good and evil, moving the reader through what seem to be competitions not only between good and evil, but also between actions of good
[...] Read more.
This essay explores the concept of theodicy in Flannery O’Connor’s works of fiction. O’Connor’s fiction complicates the subjects of good and evil, moving the reader through what seem to be competitions not only between good and evil, but also between actions of good and actions of evil. Characters align themselves with one force, then another, in a constantly fluctuating system, and there is no traditional pattern of Christian warfare that we would expect orthodox Catholic writing to produce. Sometimes, evil brings about the resolution of the narratives, and sometimes actions of good fail to redeem. It is only through the theology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin that we may have a full understanding of O’Connor’s Christian vision. For O’Connor, Teilhard’s system of a dynamic eternity, which is in the process of unification, gives a greater understanding of our human reality, as it is a world where evil is used at the service of the Divine. It serves her fictional goal as well, as it allows her to rescue violence and evil from its power for despair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Back to Top