Religion 331: The Problem of Evil
Clarice Martin, Jean Picker Professor of Philosophy and Religion
TTh 1:20–2:35 p.m., 320 Lawrence Hall
Course description: The issues posed by the “problem of evil” have vexed philosophers, theologians, and the curious for centuries, while fueling atheistic objections to the very existence of God. This course examines Western responses to the problem of evil, including perspectives on the causes, functions, and effects of human suffering and evil within discrete communities. Particular attention is given to the challenges evil poses to faith, reason, and practice from the Enlightenment period through modernity.
On the reading list:
Deconstructing Theodicy: Why Job Has Nothing to Say to the Puzzle of Suffering, David B. Burrell
Amidst Mass Atrocity and The Rubble of Theology: Searching for a Viable Theodicy, Peter Admirand
The Social Psychology of Good and Evil, Arthur G. Miller, ed.
Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy, Susan Neiman
Part I Theorizing Evil: Religious Perspectives
Part II Theorizing Evil: Philosophical Perspectives
Part III The Cultural Production of Evil: Social-Scientific Perspectives
Part IV The Quest for Viable Theodicies
The professor says: “I take my students through a rigorous interdisciplinary analysis of the problem of evil, with a sustained and spirited interrogation of primary and secondary sources from antiquity to the present. We conclude with a fascinating analysis of strategic human responses to personal and mass atrocity, and human suffering and evil.”