THEODICY- JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN RELS 2001, WEEK 7 NOTES
THEODICY- JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN RELS 2001, WEEK 7 NOTES Rels 2001
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Zenia Mason on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Rels 2001 at Georgia State University taught by Mr. Pedro E. Alvarado in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see INTRO TO WORLD RELIGIONS in Religious Studies at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 10/04/16
Theodicy: Jewish and Christian HOW DO WE EXPLAIN EVIL? • What do we mean by evil? • Natural or human caused suffering? o Hurricane Katrina o Scrubs- My no good reason • Omnipredicates o Omniscient- All knowing o Omnibenevolent-All good o Omnipresent- Everywhere at the same time o Omnipotent- All powerful THEODICY • From the Greek and means “justice of God”. It explains the presence and/or purpose of evil • Five different Theodicies o Evil is caused by sin [the person suffering did something wrong to cause the suffering]; God chose it to happen o Evil is caused by a general “fallen” condition of sin (not specific to any one person); God chose it to happen, it is for a purpose, and the outcome is more beneficial than the suffering o Evil happens for a purpose; outcome may not be more beneficial than suffering, but we can learn from it; God chose it to happen o Evil happens; God could stop it; but doesn’t; try to learn from it, but that doesn’t seem to justify the suffering o Evil happens because of natural events or because of human selfishness; no divine agent exists, it just happens BOOK OF JOB • Part of the Ketuvim (Wisdom, literature, and poetry) • Dates o Return from exile late 500s BCE o Chapters 1-2; 42: 7-17 (Newer)- Written after return from exile § Explains how Job got into predicament o Chapters 3-42:6 (older)- Written during exile § Job is restored • Characters o God, Satan o Job, Job’s family o Job’s friends- Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu • The Plot o God offers Job to Satan § God really makes a bet with Satan that Job wouldn’t curse his name if Satan puts hardship on Job. Satan says he will, and tests it. o Fortune of Job removed § Job curses everything BUT God § “Blessed be the name of the Lord” o 3 friends visit o Elihu’s visit o God’s response o God fixes Jobs situation • Why is this happening to Job? o To test his faith to God; God chose him • 3 Theodicies o Eliphaz’s § He tries to say Job sinned so that’s why he is being punished o Ildad’s o Zophar’s § They think it wasn’t his personal fault but someone else’s doing, and it just happened for a reason 2 • Is God’s response an answer? o God’s response clarifies the relationship between Job (and people) and God o The challenge is to rethink the question § God basically says he does things because he is God § Job rethought that and realized that God does everything for a reason and his faith was restored ELIE WIESEL • Biography o Born in Hungary (1928-2016) o Holocaust survivor o Night (1958) • Excerpt from Night • His theology/theodicy • Themes o Silence § 20 years in silence from Wiesel? Connection to Job? • Questioning his faith in God, and God’s goodness connects to Job questioning his faith when both were in anguish. § Transformation of silence • Survival, resistance, representing silence of camp o Memory § Wanted to preserve the memory of the Holocaust for future generations o Bearing witness § Very important to him for people to understand this was something that he actually went through and not just saw JOHN HICK • Biography 3 o English, Evangelical Christian o WWII Pacifism o One of the most important theologians of 20th century • Hick’s Theological goal o Separates theology from mythology o Must rethink Christian majority view why evil exists § The majority view is based on mythology= Augustine’s interpretation of the “Fall” CHRISTIAN THEODICY • Majority View o Augustine of Hippo (351-430 CE) § Omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient § So why is there evil in the world? • The Fall- Genesis 2 o Creation- Humans are “wholly good” o Fall – Satan successfully tempts them and evil enters world; original sin o Redemption- Christ’s death is the worst evil possible HICK’S RESPONSE TO THE MAJORITY VIEW • Scientific o Evolution of organic life brings sickness, disease, death o Scientific understandings of natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, etc.) o Not the will of God for natural disasters • Moral o Why would God punish future generations? o Is that moral of God to do that? Was his argument • Logical o How could wholly good beings disobey? 4 MINORITY VIEW • Irenaeus of Lyon (125-202) • “Soul-making” Theodicy o Humans are still in the process of creation § Supported by science o His argument: § Humans are created in the likeness of God • They were not made wholly good • Thus humans have the potential for God-like qualities • This is a divine like altruism/empathy for others § Humans need problems/opportunities to develop these Godly qualities § Thus, evil exists so that we can have moral challenges o Logical, scientific, moral 5
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