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Animal Suffering and the Darwinian Problem of Evil


  • Date Published: March 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108487603

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About the Authors
  • John R. Schneider explores the problem that animal suffering, caused by the inherent nature of Darwinian evolution, poses to belief in theism. Examining the aesthetic aspects of this moral problem, Schneider focuses on the three prevailing approaches to it: that the Fall caused animal suffering in nature (Lapsarian Theodicy), that Darwinian evolution was the only way for God to create an acceptably good and valuable world (Only-Way Theodicy), and that evolution is the source of major, God-justifying beauty (Aesthetic Theodicy). He also uses canonical texts and doctrines from Judaism and Christianity - notably the book of Job, and the doctrines of the incarnation, atonement, and resurrection - to build on insights taken from the non-lapsarian alternative approaches. Schneider thus constructs an original, God-justifying account of God and the evolutionary suffering of animals. His book enables readers to see that the Darwinian configuration of animal suffering unveiled by scientists is not as implausible on Christian theism as commonly supposed.

    • Contains a detailed formulation of the Darwinian problem of God and evil
    • Includes analytical assessments of the prevailing accounts of God and animal suffering in nature
    • Provides a distinctive, innovative essentially aesthetic perspective on Darwinian suffering by animals
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108487603
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Facing the Darwinian problem of evil
    2. Darwinian evil and anti-theistic arguments
    3. Ways around the problem: Neo-Cartesian theory and skeptical theism
    4. Making a 'case for God' (a Causa Dei)
    5. Animal suffering and the fall: Lapsarian theodicy
    6. Narrow is the way of world making: only way theodicy
    7. God-justifying beauty: aesthetic theodicy
    8. Suffering 'for no reason': job and the Darwinian problem
    9. Darwinian Kenōsis and 'divine selection'
    10. Animals in heaven: the defeat of Darwinian evils.

  • Author

    John R. Schneider, Calvin College, Michigan
    John R. Schneider is Professor Emeritus of Theology, Calvin College and currently teaches at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He is the author of Philip Melanchton's Rhetorical Construal of Biblical Authority (1990) and The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth (2002). Most recently he has published widely debated articles on Darwinism and its implications for Christian faith.

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