Disability and the Theodicy of Defeat

Aaron D. Cobb, Kevin Timpe


Marilyn McCord Adams argues that God’s goodness to individuals requires God to defeat horrendous evils; it is not enough for God to outweigh these evils through compensatory goods. On her view, God defeats the evils experienced by an individual if and only if God’s goodness to the individual enables her to integrate the evil organically into a unified life story she perceives as good and meaningful. In this essay, we seek to apply Adams’s theodicy of defeat to a particular form of suffering. We argue that God’s goodness to individuals requires that God defeat the suffering to which a range of disabilities can give rise. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12978/jat.v5i1.148


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The Journal of Analytic Theology is a joint publication of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame and Baylor University.

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