Theodicy: An Overview

The linked page above offers a brief overview of the following:











The Problem of Evil Defined

Theodicy Defined

"Defense" Defined

Key Approaches

The Logical Probelm of Evil

The Evidential Problem of Evil

The Existential Problem of Evil

Related Issues and Problems

Natural Evil

Evil and the Demonic

The History of Theodicy

The Literature of Theodicy

Theodicy and Scripture

The Politics of Theodicy

The Experience of Suffering

Horrific Evil

The Judgment of God

The Hiddenness of God

Metaphysical Evil

Classic and Contemporary Christian Responses

The Free Will Model

The Soul Making Model

The Possible Worlds/Great Design Argument

The Eschatological Hope

The Suffering of God Response

A Theology of the Cross

Faith and Trust

A Theodicy of Protest

Disavowal of Theodicy

Sapiential Theodicy

Mystical Theodicy

Narrative Theodicy

The Phenomenology of Evil and Suffering

The metaphysical horizons against which evil is experienced

The various experiences of evil as that which comes from without to alter us

Our various responses to its presence

How we commit evil or become complicit within it

Our various attempts to constrain or expel the evil within us

Conditions that mimic permeance within our personhood

Experience of evil as a controlling power

Border conditions

The various material conditions that constrain us

Frameworks that pass beyond evil and suffering

Additional Resources

The following are additional rescources intended for students and address various theodicies in literature:


Pope and Voltaire

Voltaire's Poem on the Lisbon Disaster (optional)

Outline for Essay on Man Selections

Theodicy and Pope's Essay on Man

Leibniz's Theodicy

Structure and Coherence

Tennyson's Prologue to the Strong Son of God: Faith and Doubt

Tennyson's "Song of Woe"

Tennyson's "Faith" & Vision for Humanity


G. K. Chesterton
Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday (1908): Heresy, Anarchy, Madness, Egoism

Three Rival Methods of Pursuing Truth

The Man Who Was Thursday & the Problem of Evil

T. S. Eliot

The Structure of The Four Quartets

Tradition and Eternity in Little Gidding



Sufffering, the Cross, and Remembrance


W. H. Auden

Auden's For the Time Being--The Word Made Flesh & The World in Darkness

Auden's The Meditation of Simeon: An Outline

Auden's Horae Canonicae: The Sacrificed One's Triumph & Our Contrition


Annie Dillard


Seeing and Stalking the Action of Creation

The Problem of Natural Evil


Les Murry

Fredy Neptune: An Introduction and Overview

Fredy Neptune: A 20th Century Theodicy


"All manner of thing shall be well/ When the tongues of flame are in-folded/ Into the crowned knot of fire/ And the fire and the rose are one." -- T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding