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Journey Back to GodOrigen on the Problem of Evil$
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Mark S.M. Scott

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841141

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841141.001.0001

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Theodicy as Navigation

Theodicy as Navigation

Toward a Theoretical Paradigm

(p.8) Chapter 1 Theodicy as Navigation
Journey Back to God

Mark S. M. Scott

Oxford University Press

The first chapter establishes the theoretical direction of the study. It argues that theodicy, at its core, consists of the production and protection of meaning in the face of evil. Building on the work of Max Weber, Peter Berger, Clifford Geertz, and other theorists, it construes the task of theodicy as the intellectual attempt to ascribe meaning to the reality of suffering, with its potentially fatal implications for religious worldviews. Furthermore, it refines and enriches the theoretical paradigm by defining theodicy as navigation, that is, as the creative, conceptual integration of evil into our religious constructions of reality. It highlights the importance of locating the distinctive narratives of theodicy in their particular contexts and applies these insights to the analysis of Origen's theodicy.

Keywords:   theodicy, the problem of evil, meaning-making, religious studies, theory, navigation, Max Weber, Peter Berger, Clifford Geertz

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