Acquainted with Grief: the Atonement and Early Feminist Conceptions of Theodicy

Philosophia 43 (1):97-111 (2015)
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This paper explores the relationship between the problem of evil and a kenotic view of the Atonement evidenced not just by feminist theologians, but by analytic philosophers of religion. I will argue that, although kenosis provides an interesting story about the ability of Christ to partake in human suffering, it faces debilitating problems for understanding divine concurrence with evil in the world. Most significantly, I will argue that the potential tensions between divine justice and divine love can be loosened by looking at ‘redemptive accounts’ of theodicy in the scholarship of women writing in the early modern period in philosophy, particularly Mary Hays , and Catharine Macaulay . Their work collectively confirms the problem of concrete evil and yet offers a unique theodicy grounded in the saving power of the Atonement and restorative power of Christian service. Their arguments are all the more compelling for having been written in response to egregious civil rights abuses and rampant domestic violence of their day. If the Atonement is the divinely-ordained method for gaining insight into the redemptive power of divine grace, then rather than speculating about the metaphysical nature of the divine, this paper will question how we can understand divine perfection in light of evil in the world, especially if the Atonement of Christ involves kenosis



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Jill Hernandez
Texas Tech University

Citations of this work

Exaltation and atrocity: why kenotic humility can’t justify divine concurrence of evil.Jill Hernandez - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 79 (5):493-506.

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References found in this work

Horrendous evils and the goodness of God.Marilyn McCord Adams - 1989 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. Edited by Eleonore Stump & Michael J. Murray.
The atrocity paradigm: a theory of evil.Claudia Card - 2002 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Leibniz: determinist, theist, idealist.Adams Robert Merrihew - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil.Claudia Card - 2002 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.

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