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11. Some Difficulties in Theistic Treatments of Evil

Edited by Daniel HowardSnyder Indiana University Press ePub


That the world contains the evils it does obviously poses a challenge to traditional theism. For some it is logical in that a contradiction is supposed to be deducible from the coexistence of God and evil. Almost everyone now believes that adequate defenses have been devised to neutralize this challenge, a defense being a description of a possible world containing both God and the evils in question. In such a world God has a morally exonerating excuse for permitting these evils. In particular, it is claimed that the free-will defense, in at least one of its many versions, succeeds in reconciling God’s existence with moral evil—evil that is attributable to creaturely misuse of free will. In my book, On the Nature and Existence of God, I argued that no version of this defense works, and thereby the logical problem posed by moral evil is still with us. This, however, will not be my concern in this paper.

Evil also can be seen as posing an evidential challenge because the evils found in the world are supposed to lower the probability that God exists, and, for some atheologians, so much so that it is less than one-half. There are two different theistic responses to this challenge. The strongest response takes the form of a theodicy, which is a defense plus some argument for thinking that the possible world in which God and evil coexist is the actual world. The weaker response, which I will call “defensive skepticism,” is either (i) a defense coupled with an argument for our not being cognitively capable of finding out whether or not the possible world described in this defense is the actual world or (ii) just an argument for our not being cognitively capable of determining whether or not any evil is “gratuitous” in the sense that there is not in fact, though there could be, a circumstance that would constitute a morally exonerating excuse for God’s permitting it.

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6 - With Angelo Donati in Nice, November 1942 to June 1943

Zuccotti, Susan Indiana University Press ePub


WHILE LIFE BECAME FAR MORE DANGEROUS FOR PÈRE MARIE-Benoît, Joseph Bass, and their helpers and Jewish protégés when the Germans seized much of formerly unoccupied France toward the end of 1942, there was one important geographical exception. As the Germans moved south that November, the Italian army moved west to occupy ten French departments or parts of departments east of the Rhône, including the cities of Nice, Cannes, Valence, Grenoble, and Vienne.1 In that new Italian zone, Jews and rescuers alike found conditions that were very different from those under both Vichy and subsequent German rule.

The nature of the Italian occupation was not immediately apparent. After all, as early as 1938 Benito Mussolini had decreed anti-Jewish laws in Italy that were as severe as the Nuremberg laws in the Third Reich. And for the most part, those laws had been thoroughly enforced. Furthermore, when Mussolini declared war on the side of the Germans in June 1940, thousands of foreign Jewish men throughout Italy were rounded up and interned in camps that initially were almost as wretched as those in France. When the Italians later occupied territories abroad, in southern Greece, along the Dalmatian coast, and finally in southeastern France, they brought their anti-Jewish laws with them. At first Jews in those areas were apprehensive.

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12 Healing Tourists with Religion: Saint Rita’s Cult in Poland

Giacalone, F.; Griffin, K. CABI PDF


Healing Tourists with Religion:

Saint Rita’s Cult in Poland

Inga B. Kuźma*

Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of Culture, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

A Historical Outline of Veneration of St Rita in Poland

The veneration of St Rita in Poland is not

­massive (yet). It is spreading quite slowly, but steadily. The cult began to grow around the year

2000, even though some Church sources date it back to the seventeenth century. Central to this veneration is the church of Saint Catherine of

Alexandria, located in Kracow. The church belongs to the Augustinian friars, and is adjacent to a convent of the Augustinians, the order that

St Rita herself entered a few centuries ago.

Augustinians were brought to Kracow from

Bohemia in the years 1342/3 (Droździk and

Kwiatkowska-Kopka, 2008, p. 12). At that time they were considered the most learned people in

Europe. Their location in Kracow was spurred by the desire of the king of Poland, Casimir the

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3 Revelation and Co-Revelation

Shai Held Indiana University Press ePub


If wonder leads to a sense that “something is asked of us,” revelation seeks to address the obvious next question: what, precisely, is asked of us? “The Bible,” Heschel writes, “is an answer to the supreme question: what does God demand of us? Yet the question has gone out of the world.”1 In a spiritually robust environment, in other words, the experience of wonder would elicit from humanity an openness to, indeed, an eagerness for the message of revelation. But our world, Heschel is at pains to insist, is anything but spiritually robust: in casting off its capacity for wonder, humanity has closed itself off from, and abandoned all interest in, God’s expectations. The Bible is thus rendered mute, irrelevant; it is an answer to a question long since silenced and forgotten. If, as I have suggested, the project of part I of God in Search of Man is to restore humanity to a wonder-filled response to the world as a whole, the project of part II is to accomplish something similar in regards to the Bible—to reactivate humanity’s appreciation for, and receptivity toward, God’s revelation. Put differently: whereas part I seeks to re-elicit an interest in “the supreme question,” part II seeks to inspire a commitment to the ultimate answer as Heschel conceives it—the revelation of God as found in the Hebrew Bible.

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5 Playing with Wild Cards

Peppers, Cheryl Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


When we begin working on our own souls, we discover that we are not self-made. Our identity depends on Another. We cannot make ourselves… but fortunately a wild card has been announced.1


IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO recover the lost pieces of ourselves in isolation. It takes bumping into a lot of difficult situations and people to find out who we really are, and for this the workplace setting is ideal. Consider the surprise at the impact of another person on our lives. This wild-card “other” might take the form of a mentor, whose loyalty is unquestionable and whose insights have solidified our own sense of competence, or of an irritating coworker, whose only perceived value may seem to be in teaching us patience. The wild-card other may be encountered in the form of a stranger on the street who ignites our emotions, or a stranger within our own home—the spouse or child whose behavior or outlook seems painfully alien. Whether experienced as positive or negative, an encounter with this other often leads to insight and growth.72

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