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By Sarah Katherine Pinnock

Past Theodicy analyzes the emerging tide of objections to motives and justifications for why God allows evil and affliction on this planet. in keeping with the Holocaust, extraordinary parallels have emerged among significant Jewish and Christian thinkers centering on sensible religion techniques that supply which means inside of anguish. writer Sarah okay. Pinnock specializes in Jewish thinkers Martin Buber and Ernst Bloch and Christian thinkers Gabriel Marcel and Johann Baptist Metz to give different rejections of theodicy, one existential, represented via Buber and Marcel, and one political, represented by means of Bloch and Metz. Pinnock interweaves the disciplines of philosophy of faith, post-Holocaust notion, and liberation theology to formulate a dynamic imaginative and prescient of spiritual wish and resistance.

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Concentration camp survivor and existentialist psychiatrist Viktor Frankl shares Marcel’s seemingly optimistic tone about finding meaning in one’s suffering, at least in part. Frankl insists that even in a concentration camp, spiritual freedom can be exercised. 28 Yet Frankl is soberly realistic in noting that some prisoners become hopeless and unable to use this inner freedom. On the other hand, Marcel simply assumes the voluntaristic capacity to make meaning, and he does not consider such experiences of evil.

The sciences and certain branches of philosophy use a method Marcel terms the “problem” approach. Problem solving employs the following five assumptions and procedures. (1) The objects, data, or ideas that it treats are viewed as detached (artificially) from the investigator’s experience, as objects over and against the subject. (2) Correspondingly, the thinking subject operates as (purportedly) an anonymous and neutral observer—that is, a purely epistemological subject. (3) The material of the problem is broken down into discrete subproblems for study.

In contrast, he showcases the book of Job as providing an “authentic” religious response to evil. Kant approves of Job’s dismissal of the advice of his friends as neither comforting nor intellectually compelling. Job’s suffering cannot be explained rationally as fair punishment for sin, as his friends suggest. Nor should Job’s protest cease on the basis of his friends’ assurance that God will compensate him for his goodness later in his lifetime. According to Kant, Job’s frankness makes him the perfect model of an individual with authentic faith in God.

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