Theodicy: An Overview

The theodicy overview PDF offers a brief explanation of the following:


  • The Problem of Evil Defined
  • Theodicy Defined
  • "Defense" Defined

Key Approaches

  • The Logical Problem 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 resources intended for students and address various theodicies in literature:

Pope and Voltaire


G. K. Chesterton

T. S. Eliot


W. H. Auden

Annie Dillard

Les Murry