Theodicy as Navigation

Mark S. M. Scott

in Journey Back to God

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841141
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949809 | DOI:


Theodicy as Navigation

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The first chapter establishes the theoretical direction of the study. It argues that theodicy, at its core, consists of the production and protection of meaning in the face of evil. Building on the work of Max Weber, Peter Berger, Clifford Geertz, and other theorists, it construes the task of theodicy as the intellectual attempt to ascribe meaning to the reality of suffering, with its potentially fatal implications for religious worldviews. Furthermore, it refines and enriches the theoretical paradigm by defining theodicy as navigation, that is, as the creative, conceptual integration of evil into our religious constructions of reality. It highlights the importance of locating the distinctive narratives of theodicy in their particular contexts and applies these insights to the analysis of Origen's theodicy.

Keywords: theodicy; the problem of evil; meaning-making; religious studies; theory; navigation; Max Weber; Peter Berger; Clifford Geertz

Chapter.  6329 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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