Deconstructing Theodicy: Why Job Has Nothing to Say to the Puzzle of Suffering

The problem of evil has plagued Christians for centuries. It has led Augustine to suggest the free-will defense, Hume to doubt God’s existence, thoughtful Christians to question their faith and a host of philosophical theologians to develop various permutations allowing God to coexist with evil. But as Notre Dame professor and Catholic priest David Burrell recognizes, humans have never solved the problem of evil completely.

In working through the stalemated discussion, Burrell turns to perhaps the most famous tract on God and evil, the book of Job. He argues that when philosophical theologians focus on the question of why God allows evil, they not only mire themselves in hopeless logical conundrums, they do exactly what Job tells us to avoid.

 

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