On Letting Go of Theodicy: Marilyn McCord Adams on God and Evil

Andrew Gleeson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Marilyn McCord Adams agrees with D. Z. Phillips that instrumental theodicy is a moral failure, and that sceptical theists and others are guilty of ignoring what we know now (in this life) about the moral reality of horrendous evils to speculate about unknown ways these evils might be made sense of. In place of theodicy, Adams advocates ‘the logic of compensation’ for the victims of evil, a postmortem healing of divine intimacy with God. This goes so deep, she believes, that eventually victims will see the horrors they suffered as points of contact with the incarnate, suffering God and cease wishing they had never suffered them. I argue Adams’s position falls foul of the very criticisms she and Phillips make against instrumental theodicy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalSophia: International Journal For Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysical Theology and Ethics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2015


    • Compensation
    • Evil
    • God
    • Horrors
    • Theodicy


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