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Title: The theodicy problem in the theology of Jurgen Moltmann
Author: Maitland-Cullen, P. S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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The thesis is that a theology which takes suffering to be unjustifiable (of which Moltmann's is the major contemporary example), which can openly accept this situation, is potentially a very major breakthrough. However, it has to be asked if it has a sustainable understanding of the problem of evil. Introduction: sets out briefly the traditional understanding of the theodicy problem, and also the way in which the thesis is developed. Chapter one looks at the manner in which theodicy can be seen as a natural and necessary upshot of the fact that Christian belief involves certain assertions or claims. Words, if they arc to be meaningful, are used in certain ways. Also discussed is an a-theodicist eschatological verification position. I argue that there has to be a way in which we can rationally affirm that the world is worthwhile. Chapter two looks at various thcodicies to see how they attempt to make sense of the world in its relation to the God who is wholly good, and if they arc saying things which Christians need to say - or which are incompatible with basic Christian beliefs. Chapter three looks at Moltmann's understanding of the theodicy question, leading to the conclusion that there is a major and potentially deeply problematic departure in interpretation. Chapter four surveys, and then discusses critically, the view of suffering in Theology of Hope. Chapter five reviews Religion, Revolution and the Future, and Hope and planning, again in relation to the question of evil. Chapter six assesses the contribution of The Crucified God to Moltmann's understanding of suffering. Chapter seven discusses The Trinity and the Kingdon of God likewise. Chapter eight is a view of crucial aspects of God in Creation and the main-stream theodicy problem. Chapter nine looks at the idea that Moltmann's theologising may be beyond the reach of conventional theodicy debate criteria. I hold that this is not so. Attention then switches to D Z Phillips and his claims that religious language cannot be subjected to classification as right or wrong: my case being the claim that important aspects of Moltmann's treatment of evil and God arc incoherent. 1 disagree with Phillips. There follows the conclusion. Whilst Moltmann brings home the need to think with deepest seriousness about the problems of suffering, and appears to open up a new theological horizon on the problem of evil, he in the end fails to show how one can legitimately escape the criteria of the classical problem of justification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available