- Wright, N. T. Evil and the Justice of God. Downer’s Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.
- Billings, J. Todd. Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2015.
- Oord, Thomas Jay. The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2015.
- Harrelson, Walter J., ed. The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: The New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003. (Recommended)
- Northey, Margot, Joel N Lohr, and Bradford A Anderson. Making Sense: A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing [in] Religious Studies. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2015. (On reserve in the library)
- To locate the problem of evil within a matrix of fundamental
questions, founding narratives or myths, and embodied cultural
- To explore the typical answers given to the
experience of evil, by believers and non-believers, and the theological
questions they provoke.
- To invite students to shape their own
thinking and questions about the problem of evil in light of biblical
traditions and the theologies to which they give rise.
provoke students to take the problem of evil seriously as a challenge
in their areas of study and vocation, and to engage in transforming
praxis in its light.
|COURSE OUTLINE:||The Experience of Evil|
Responding to the challenge of evil
- Supplemental reading for this section: Ricoeur, Paul. “Evil, a Challenge to Philosophy and Theology.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 53, no. 3 (1985): 635–48.
- Faith, doubt, and evil
- “Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero” [Sept 6, 8]
- “The New Problem of Evil” [Sept 13, 15]
- Reading: Wright, N. T. Evil and the Justice of God (Downer’s Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006), ch. 1.
- Is creation to blame? Evil and origins
- Story [Sept 20 (Note: there is no class Sept 22)]
- Reading: Gaiser, Frederick J. “Paul Ricoeur’s Myths of Evil in Biblical Perspective.” Word and World 19.4 (Fall 1999): 389–400.
- Reading: Wood, John R. “An Ecological Perspective on the Role of Death in Creation.” Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith 68.2 (June 2016): 74–86.
- Reading: Oord, Thomas Jay. The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2015.
- Is God to blame? Evil and God
- Reading: Schuurman, Henry. “Theodicy,” Dictionary of Ethics, Theology, and Society. London: Routledge, 1997: 816–19. Dostoyevski, Fyodor. “Rebellion”. The Brothers Karamazon. Translated by Constance Garnett. New York: 1912.
Middleton, J. Richard. “Why the ‘Greater Good’ Isn’t a Defense:
Classical Theodicy in Light of the Biblical Genre of Lament.” Koinonia 9.1&2 (1997): 81–113.
- Reading: J. Todd Billings, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling With Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2015
- Are humans to blame? Evil and humanity [Nov 1, 3]
- Reading: Becker, Ernest. “The Second Great Step in Human Evolution,” and “Death and Denial.” The Ernest Becker Reader. Ed. Daniel Liechty. Seattle: Univ of Washington Press, 2005: 130–134; 140–144; 201–217.
- Supplemental reading for this section: Martin, Stephen W. “Reconciliation: The Theological Challenge.” Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif (2010): 238–56.
- Introduction: “The parable of the old man and the young” [Nov 8 (Note: there is no class Nov 10]
- God’s action in Israel [Nov 15]
- God’s action in Jesus [Nov 17]
- God’s action in the Church [Nov 22, 24]
- The church’s action in the world [Nov 29, Dec 1]
- Conclusion [Dec 6, 8]
- Reading: Volf, Miroslav. “The Final Reconciliation: Reflections on a Social Dimension of the Eschatological Transition.” Modern Theology 16.1 (2000): 91–113.