The poetics of evil : a study of the aesthetic theme in theodicy
MetadataShow full item record
This work proposes to look at the role of aesthetics within Christian theodicy. Though the recent theodicy literature has often displayed suspicion toward the inclusion of aesthetic criteria, I will argue that theological aesthetics can enrich the theodicy discourse and therefore should be used as a resource in responding to the problem of evil. In Part I, I will attempt to lay a foundation for an aesthetically informed theodicy by examining some of the philosophical frameworks that lie behind Christian theodicy, and seeking to illuminate a framework that allows theological aesthetics to helpfully contribute to the task of theodicy. By offering a preliminary account of theological aesthetics, I will aim to further lay a foundation for how the two areas of theology can interact. In Part II, I will look at three distinct aesthetic motifs or “themes” as they are developed by three different theodicists (one ancient and two contemporary): Augustine, Wendy Farley, and Marilyn McCord Adams. Each of the themes developed by these theodicists offers a different example of how aesthetics can reorient and enrich our perspective on theodicy. Though each, in and of itself, is incomplete, I will argue that they complement and critique one another in helpful ways, and therefore that all of them are useful for Christian theodicy.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.