The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil
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The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil presents a collection of original essays providing both overview and insight, clarifying and evaluating the philosophical and theological “problem of evil” in its various contexts and manifestations.

  • Features all original essays that explore the various forms of the problems of evil, offering theistic responses that attempt to explain evil as well as discussion of the challenges facing such explanations
  • Includes section introductions with a historical essay that traces the developments of the issues explored
  • Acknowledges the fact that there are many problems of evil, some of which apply only to those who believe in concepts such as hell and some of which apply to non-theists
  • Represents  views from the various religious traditions, including Hindu, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim


Justin P. McBrayer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Fort Lewis College, Colorado. He has authored numerous papers in philosophy of religion and ethics, including “CORNEA and Inductive Skepticism” (2009), “Skeptical Theism” (2010), “A Limited Defense of Moral Perception” (2010), “Skepticism about the Argument from Divine Hiddenness” (2011), and “Christianity, Homosexual Sex, and Sexism” (2012).

Daniel Howard-Snyder is Professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University. He is co-author of The Power of Logic (2013, 5th Ed.), and editor or co-editor of various publications including The Evidential Argument from Evil (1996), Faith, Freedom, and Rationality (1996), and Divine Hiddenness: New Essays (2002).


Notes on contributors ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiv

Part I Problems of Evil 1

1 A brief history of problems of evil 3
Michael W. Hickson

2 The logical problem of evil: mackie and plantinga 19
Daniel Howard-Snyder

3 A new logical problem of evil 34
J.L. Schellenberg

4 Rowe’s evidential arguments from evil 49
Graham Oppy

5 Explanation and the problem of evil 67
Paul Draper and Trent Dougherty

6 A carnapian argument from evil 83
Richard Otte

7 The experience of evil and support for atheism 98
Jerome Gellman

8 The problem of animal pain and suffering 113
Robert Francescotti

9 Hell and the problem of evil 128
Andrei A. Buckareff and Allen Plug

10 The problem of apparently morally abhorrent divine commands 144
Wesley Morriston

11 God because of evil: An ad hominem argument from evil for belief in God 160
Marilyn McCord Adams

Part II Theodicies 175

12 A brief history of theodicy 177
René van Woudenberg

13 Counterpart and appreciation theodicies 192
Justin P. McBrayer

14 Free will and soul-making theodicies 205
Daniel Speak

15 The connection-building theodicy 222
Robin Collins

16 Best possible world theodicy 236
Hud Hudson

17 Providence and theodicy 251
Thomas P. Flint

18 A christian theodicy 266
Laura W. Ekstrom

19 Toward an Indian theodicy 281
Purushottama Bilimoria

20 Earth’s epistemic fruits for harmony with God: an Islamic theodicy 296
Mohammad Ali Mobini

21 On constructing a Jewish theodicy 309
David Shatz

22 Feminism and the problem of evil 326
Beverley Clack

23 Process theism and theodicies for problems of evil 340
James A. Keller

24 Theodicy in a vale of tears 349
Evan Fales

25 Antitheodicy 363
N.N. Trakakis

Part III Skeptical Responses 377

26 A brief history of skeptical responses to evil 379
T.M. Rudavsky

27 Peter van Inwagen’s defense 396
Meghan Sullivan

28 A defense without free will 411
Derk Pereboom

29 Skeptical theism, CORNEA, and common sense epistemology 426
Thomas D. Senor

30 The moral skepticism objection to skeptical theism 444
Stephen Maitzen

31 The global skepticism objection to skeptical theism 458
Ian Wilks

32 Theistic objections to skeptical theism 468
David O’Connor

33 Skeptical theism and the “too much skepticism” objection 482
Michael C. Rea

Index 507


“This volume is an outstanding and comprehensive collection of essays of high quality on aspects of one of the greatest problems in intellectual history: The Problem of Evil. The editors have covered the usual territory well, and they have also included essays that broaden the scope of the book considerably. Highly recommended.”

—John Martin Fischer, University of California, Riverside

"An impressive list of contributors, writing from a variety of perspectives. The volume nicely summarizes the history of the field and advances the discussion with some superb, groundbreaking work."

—Thomas M. Crisp, Biola University

“The editors, Justin McBrayer and Daniel Howard-Snyder, are to be congratulated on this stimulating, balanced and comprehensive collection. It is a first-rate resource both for students and for researchers.”

—Peter Forrest, University of New England

"This splendid collection of essays both represents important recent developments and breaks new ground. Theologians as well as philosophers will appreciate this resource for what it is: the best one available."

—Thomas H. McCall, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School