Irenaean theodicy is ‘soul making’. His theodicy is more concerned with the development of humanity. Irenaeus distinguished between the ‘image’ and the. (25 Marks) The Irenaeus Theodicy, often called Soul Making, is a counterpart to Augustine’s Theodicy, yet it is also and opposing argument. Irenaeus’ theodicy is . A MODERN IRENAEAN THEODICY -. PROFESSOR HICK ON EVIL. Brian A. Davies. In attempting to deal with the traditional problem of evil. Christian.

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Hick distinguished between the Augustinian theodicywhich is based on free will, and the Irenaean theodicy, which casts God as responsible for evil but justified in it. In the early 19th century, Friedrich Schleiermacher wrote Speeches and The Christian Faithproposing a theodicy which John Hick later identified as Irenaean in nature.

Disadvantages Eschatological justification requires a belief in life after death Some people suffer considerably more than others, why has Thheodicy singled them out? Hick justifies this by appealing to the concept of mystery.

Irenaean theodicy

Typically, the Irenaean theodicy asserts that the world is the best of all possible worlds because it allows humans to fully develop.

However, we can be sure of things in a predictable world! This is a choice made after struggle and experience, as we choose God rather than our baser instinct.

Related topics Criticism of religion Ethics in religion Exegesis Faith and rationality History of religions Political science of religion Religion and science Religious philosophy Theology. This would appear unjust, in that evil goes unpunished. He argued that the Irenaean theodicy supposes that God inflicts pain for his own ends, which Griffin regarded as immoral.

As such, the Irenaean theodicy is sometimes referred to as the “soul-making theodicy”, a phrase taken from the poet John Keats. From it we learn positive values, and about the world around us. Knowledge of pain prompts humans to seek to help others in pain.

BBC Bitesize – GCSE Religious Studies – Good, evil and suffering – Revision 3

These good, moral traits are best as they come from free will. However, humans use that free will to turn away from God and chose to sin. Sign up to Comment. Suffering does not sit easily with the concept of a loving God.


Another early Christian theologian, Origenpresented a response to the problem of evil which cast the world as a schoolroom or hospital for the soul; theologian Mark Scott has argued that Origen, rather than Irenaeus, ought to be considered the father of this kind of theodicy.

There is no moral dimension to this. Hailed as the first great Catholic theologian. Retrieved from ” https: The world runs to a series of natural laws. He argues that, if suffering was always beneficial to humans, it would be impossible for humans to develop compassion or sympathy because we would know that someone who is suffering will certainly benefit from it.

To summarise Irenaeus’ Theodicy: These laws are independent of our needs, and operate regardless of anything. Suffering and evil are: Twentieth-century philosopher Alvin Plantinga supported the idea that this world is the best possible world, arguing that the good in the world including God’s infinite goodness outweighs the evil and proposing that the ultimate good of God’s sacrifice when Jesus was crucified necessitated the existence of evil.

Soul-making is the theory that evil has to exist so that humans can develop their souls by living and becoming good, moral people. However, if there is an element of mystery to suffering, to the effect that some people suffer without benefit, it allows feelings of compassion and sympathy to emerge.

The fact that some people suffer significantly more lead people to lose faith and turn away from God, rather than ‘learn a lesson’ and for this to be a convincing argument against the problem of evil, surely God would not allow such unhumane methods and people could learn through less pain. Blocher argued that universalism contradicts free will, which is vital to the Irenaean theodicy, because, if everyone will receive salvation, humans cannot choose to reject God.

It defends the probability of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent all-powerful and perfectly loving God in the face of evidence of evil in the world. Philosophy of religion Theodicy Problem of evil.


Blocher proposed that Hick must then accept a level of determinismthough not going all the way. Hick argued that this would leave humans unable to help or harm one another, allowing them no moral choices and so preventing moral development.

Irenaeus believed the first stage is complete, but the second stage requires humans to develop and grow into the likeness of God, a stage which Irenaeus believed is still in progress.

French theologian Henri Blocher criticised Hick’s universalism, arguing that such a view negates free will, which was iremaean important to the theodicy. The development of process theology has challenged the Irenaean tradition by teaching that God’s power is limited and that he cannot be responsible for evil.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 6 September This is not orthodox Christianity. The value Hick placed on free will was the result of his belief that it is necessary for genuine love: Second-century philosopher Irenaeus developed a theodicy based on the idea that the creation of humans is still in progress.

Humans were created in the image and likeness of God. The doctrine proposes that God is benevolent but suggests that his power is restricted to persuasion, rather than coercion and so is unable to prevent certain evil events from occurring.

Irenaeus’ Theodicy – Advantages and disadvantages table in A Level and IB Religious Studies

Thank you very much! Rather, he argued that Hell exists as a mythological concept and as a warning of the importance of this life.

He conceived sin as being an obstruction to irenaeaj dependence on God, arguing that it is almost inevitable, but citing Jesus as an example of a sinless man, whose consciousness of God was unobstructed.