Item description for The Problem of Evil: A Reader by Larrimore...
This "Reader" brings together primary sources from philosophy, theology and literature to chart the many and changing ways evil has been approached and understood, and to examine the diverse implications it has had for belief and unbelief. Will fill a major gap in the publishing market. Provides primary source readings for courses on religion and evil. A key issue in religious thought - this book will change the way the subject is taught. Author is one of the brightest young religious philosophers in America.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 5.99" Height: 1.22" Weight: 1.37 lbs.
Release Date Nov 2, 2000
ISBN 0631220143 ISBN13 9780631220145
Availability 121 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 11:43.
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More About Larrimore
Mark Larrimore is Assistant Professor of Religion and Preceptor at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He is currently completing a study on the ethics of Leibniz's Theodicy.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Problem of Evil: A Reader?
The "rock of atheism" Dec 20, 2007
The so-called problem of evil has been called the "rock of atheism" which threatens to shatter the hull of religious faith. This is more than appropriate. If you're an atheist, bad things happening to good people is tragic but not mysterious. The physical universe is indifferent to individual humans, and all of us are equally susceptible to germs, viruses, natural disasters, and the malevolence of our fellows. But if you're a theist, someone who believes in an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful God, bad things happening to good people is both tragic and mysterious--bewildering and deeply disturbing, actually. It not only violates one's sense of fairness or justice, it also calls into question God's love, or God's omnipotence, or God's omniscience--or all three. This is the "problem of evil."
Mark Larrimore has provided us with an excellent collection of primary sources that speak to the problem of evil. The readings are culled from philosophers, theologians, mystics, poets, psychologists, and biologists, and they span 2500 years of Western thought, from Plato to contemporary thinkers. His section entitled "The Rise of Theodicy" is especially interesting for readers who want to explore the traditional ways in which philosophers and theologians have tried to "justify God" in the face of innocent suffering. But I personally most enjoyed the section on "The Twentieth Century." Collected there, inter alia, is C.S. Lewis' rather cold-hearted (and pre-Joy Davidman) reflection on the inevitability of pain, John Hick's revival of the old Irenaean claim that suffering helps us to grow a soul, and the Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas' poignant post-Holocaust thoughts on "useless suffering."
Two caveats, only one of which touch Larrimore directly. First, like all Blackwell books, this one is horribly overpriced. Second, it's a bit surprising that Larrimore decided not to include any sources from the Hebrew Bible. Parts of Job and some of the Psalms immediately come to mind when one thinks of the problem of evil. On the other hand, to be fair, many of the theological selections Larrimore does include refer to these scriptural texts.
a great introduction... Jul 15, 2003
The book is a collection of writings, sorted chronogically, that includes the most important thinkers in philosophy concerning the "Problem of Evil"--if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent, then why does evil exist? And what are ways to explain/cope with it in our everyday lives? Even if not interested in this specific issue, readers interested in philosophy would be well served to read the works contained within. Each work comes with a short introduction from author Mark Larrimore that is very well written and to the point. As a former student of his, I would highly recommend Larrimore's "Problem of Evil" to anyone and everyone who wants an introduction to the subject.