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The defeat of heartbreak: problems and solutions for Stump's view of the problem of evil concerning desires of the heart



Eleonore Stump insightfully develops Aquinas's theodicy to account for a significant source of human suffering, namely the undermining of desires of the heart. Stump argues that what justifies God in allowing such suffering is benefits made available to the sufferer through her suffering that can defeat the suffering by contributing to the fulfilment of her heart's desires. We summarize Stump's arguments for why such suffering requires defeat and how it is defeated. We identify three problems with Stump's account of how such suffering is defeated and offer solutions to each. We defend and strengthen Stump's response to the hardest cases for her view, and explain what her view demands of God.



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Feingold, Lawrence (2010) The Natural Desire to See God According to St. Thomas and His Interpreters, 2nd edn (Naples FL: Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University).
Pruss, Alexander (2013) One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics (South Bend IN: Notre Dame University Press).
Stump, Eleonore (2010) Wandering in Darkness (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Stump, Eleonore (2012) ‘Wandering in darkness: further reflections’, European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 4, 197219.
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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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