Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Dana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe

Theodicy in the Early Modern Context

  • C. P. RaglandEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_11-1
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Introduction

First coined by the great polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) as the title of the only book he published in his lifetime, the term “theodicy” has come to denote a certain kind of theistic response to the problem of evil: the question “why, if the world is created by an all-powerful, all-good God, does it contain evils such as genocide or natural disasters?” Named from the Greek words theos (God) and dike (justice), a theodicy attempts to answer this question, thereby vindicating the justice of God in the face of the world’s evils.

The Early Modern Context

The problem of evil is not modern (in the ancient world a formulation of the problem was attributed to Epicurus and clearly articulated by Cicero and Sextus Empiricus). However, it came to be expressed in distinctive ways in the modern period. Whereas ancient and medieval philosophers tended to focus on the question of the originof evil (where does evil come from, if not from God, the creator of all?), modern...

Related Topics

God Evil Causation Freedom Metaphysics Faith Reason 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySaint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Silvia Manzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la EducaciónNational University of La Plata, Argentina.Buenos AiresArgentina