© 2016

Kantian Antitheodicy

Philosophical and Literary Varieties


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 1-27
  3. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 29-71
  4. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 73-138
  5. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 187-255
  6. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 257-290
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 291-320

About this book


This book defends antitheodicism, arguing that theodicies, seeking to excuse God for evil and suffering in the world, fail to ethically acknowledge the victims of suffering. The authors argue for this view using literary and philosophical resources, commencing with Immanuel Kant’s 1791 “Theodicy Essay” and its reading of the Book of Job. Three important twentieth century antitheodicist positions are explored, including “Jewish” post-Holocaust ethical antitheodicism, Wittgensteinian antitheodicism exemplified by D.Z. Phillips and pragmatist antitheodicism defended by William James. The authors argue that these approaches to evil and suffering are fundamentally Kantian. Literary works such as Franz Kafka’sThe Trial, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, are examined in order to crucially advance the philosophical case for antitheodicism.


God evil suffering morality free will

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of TampereFinland

About the authors

Sari Kivistö is Docent of Comparative Literature and (since 2015) Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is the author of The Vices of Learning (2014) and Medical Analogy in Latin Satire (2009).

Sami Pihlström is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland (since 2014). He was previously Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2009-2015). He is also President of the Philosophical Society of Finland. His previous publications include Pragmatist Metaphysics (2009) and Taking Evil Seriously (2014).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Kantian Antitheodicy
  • Book Subtitle Philosophical and Literary Varieties
  • Authors Sami Pihlström
    Sari Kivistö
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-40882-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82209-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-40883-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 320
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Ethics
    Philosophy of Religion
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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