On Letting Go of Theodicy: Marilyn McCord Adams on God and Evil

Sophia 54 (1):1-12 (2015)
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Marilyn McCord Adams agrees with D. Z. Phillips that instrumental theodicy is a moral failure, and that sceptical theists and others are guilty of ignoring what we know now about the moral reality of horrendous evils to speculate about unknown ways these evils might be made sense of. In place of theodicy, Adams advocates ‘the logic of compensation’ for the victims of evil, a postmortem healing of divine intimacy with God. This goes so deep, she believes, that eventually victims will see the horrors they suffered as points of contact with the incarnate, suffering God and cease wishing they had never suffered them. I argue Adams’s position falls foul of the very criticisms she and Phillips make against instrumental theodicy



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Andrew Gleeson
Flinders University