Evil and The God of Love

Eric Ziolkowski

in The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544486
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Evil and The God of Love

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Posed by the character Philo in David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, questions about God that find their source in Epicurus crystallize the traditional philosophical understanding of the problem of evil. This problem – whether evoked by a case of natural evil; epitomized by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 or the South Asian tsunami of 2004; or of moral evil, epitomized by the Shoah – poses a grave challenge to conventional theism and is deemed ‘the guiding force of modern thought’. This article examines the thematic relation between evil and the God of love in English literature, the theme's roots in the Bible, conceived as a unified ‘literary’ document. It is in this sense that the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh furnished for Jack Miles his best-selling God: A Biography.

Keywords: David Hume; problem of evil; natural evil; moral evil; God of love; Tanakh

Article.  8990 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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