Essay: The Irenaean Theodicy

Sample Essay

The Irenaean Theodicy has roots in two different elements. The first was presented by St Irenaeus, who was of the opinion that man was not a creation meant to be perfect but one that was meant to achieve perfection through continuous struggle and effort.

The second root of the Irenaean Theodicy stems from the first, but differs in the opinion of the reason why man chooses to strive. According to Philosopher John Hick, the reason for the struggle and striving of man to achieve perfection is because the struggle to achieve perfection and the effort to learn more about the world is so that man can more successfully live in his world and hence, defeat evil. Philosopher John Hick refers to this process as “soul making”, since it revolves around the development of the soul of man against the evils of the world that he lives in.

In layman terms, this particular genre of the Irenaean Theodicy believes that the cause and effect relationship dictates the relationship between the struggle of man to achieve flawlessness and the presence of evil in his world. An example of this can be seen in modern day medicine that strives to find cures to ailments and diseases that already exist. Hence, a struggle can only take place once there has been a reason for it to occur. Hick’s theodicy continues as he goes on to express the existence of a distance between man and God in the intangible. A distance that is based upon the knowledge that man has been created not to possess but to seek to attain.

Hick also presents the argument of the existence of an afterlife. In Hick’s opinion, there are often times when a mortal passes away from the world without having the chance to seek the truth of his being. This allows Hick to put forth the idea for the presence of an afterlife.

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