Augustinian Theodicy Learning Objectives Know biblical teachings on the origin of evil Explain where Christians believe evil comes from Explain the Augustinian Theodicy A Theodicy: Is, a philosophical theory that aims to justify the existence of God despite evil in the world. e.g. Suggesting evil and suffering are necessary.
1. Read page 11 and the next slide 2. Write a paragraph that explains the term theodicy and what a theodicy needs Theodicies A theodicy is an attempt to justify God in spite of the existence of evil and suffering. Some theologians, like Anders Nygren have argued that it is wrong for religious believers to attempt a theodicy because it is irreligious to imagine that fallible human minds can understand God. Others, like John Hick, believe that Christians have to try to understand evil, because it is central to other aspects of faith;
such as sin, redemption and Christ as the saviour. Evil presents a particular problem for people who believe God to be both loving and omnipotent. For some, such as Bertrand Russell, the universe needs no explanation; it is just the way it is, including evil and suffering which just happen. The Augustinian Theodicy Start of a mind map He was the bishop of Hippo Regius (modernday Annaba, Algeria), located in Numidia
(Roman province of Africa). St Augustine of Hippo 13 November 354 28 August 430) Activities
1. Read the account of creation and the Fall in the Bible Genesis 1-3 2. Now write your own description and explanation of these events the summary table on pages 11-12 of booklet 1. 3. Add a brief summary of the Fall to your mind map 4. Make sure you have read up to page 5 in the booklet 5. Extension read pages 5 and 6 Augustine was Read, listen and add key points to your mind influenced by
map Manichaeism - see diagram on next slide According to Manichaeism the world was in a struggle between the substance of light and the substance of darkness. Augustine's theodicy is based on the Bibles accounts of the Creation and the Fall Where, man abused Gods gift of freewill, which led to the existence of evil
Manichaeism Good Evil 1.God is perfect and created a perfect world The world was created perfect and good There was a garden where humanity spent time with
God God also created angels and humans with capacity for freewill 2. Fallen Angels Fallen angels are those who were cast out of heaven because they turned against God (e.g. Satan) This is because they were granted freewill They rebelled, doubted Gods plan
and motives and rejected the system of heaven They then went on to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden 3. Humanities freewill Humanity abused Gods gift of freedom Evil came about through humanity having freedom / freewill and choosing to turn away from God
Augustines argument complete the table using pages 13 and 14 of the booklet and Jordan Watch the following summary 1. God is good and created a perfect world Genesis 2. Evil comes from angels and humans who turned away from God Free will 3. God cannot be blamed for creating evil as it is a privation/deprivation privatio boni 4. Seminally present 5. Cross overcomes evil 6. Soul deciding 7. This theodicy is soul deciding because God gave
humans free will and each human decides their own eternal fate by either obeying Gods will or ignoring it. God sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for humanity. Many Christians refer to the Fall as felix culpa happy mistake, because if it had not happened God would not have sent Jesus into the world to save us from sin. Those who freely choose Jesus will be redeemed and spend eternity in heaven with God this demonstrates Gods mercy So, humanities fate is decided on the basis of
Adams sin and the individuals response to Gods offer of salvation in Christ Review and recap Could there be a reason for God allowing evil to exist? Might there even be a beneficial consequence of evil? Think about the earlier statements: The world was created perfect and good And, Augustines proposal that evil came from the world, not God
Do you see any controversies in these TWO ideas A summary of Augustines theodicy The notion of freewill plays a key role in Augustines theodicy FREEWILL EVIL Explain the role of freewill in the Augustine Theodicy
Schleiermachers critique Schleiermacher (1768-1834) argued that there is a logical contradiction in holding that a perfectly created world has gone wrong, since this would mean that evil has created itself out of nothing, which is logically impossible. Even if evil is a privation, it is still a real feature of the world, as is the suffering it produces. As such, evil has to be attributed to God. Either the world was not perfect to begin with or God enabled it to go wrong.
Schleiermacher also thought it was difficult to understand how, in a perfect world where there is no knowledge of good and evil, there could possibly be freedom to obey or disobey God, since good and evil would be unknown. The fact that Gods creature chose to disobey Him suggests there was already knowledge of good and evil, which could only have come from God. Important Point
Think back to Aquinas cosmological argument, where he argued that ex nihilo, nihil fit nothing can come from nothing. Evil exists as a feature of the world, and therefore must have come from somewhere.
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