Problem of evil and divine providence in Maimonides' philosophy

Budanur, İpek
The evident existence of evil does not appear to be compatible with the traditional theistic view of Divine Justice. On the one hand, in the course of our daily lives we observe that the innocent suffer undeservedly and the wicked prosper abundantly; and on the other we have the religious principle assuring us that God is just. This contradiction which is known as the problem of evil constitutes one of the greatest challenges to theistic religions. Moses Maimonides, the foremost Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages offers a solution to this problem through his theory of providence. In this thesis, I argue that for Maimonides providence comes in stages and his theodicy is formed by the first two stages of his theory of providence that I take to be comprising of essentially three stages. Given the two seemingly antagonistic positions that comprise the problem of evil, how he reconciles them through the first two stages of his theory of providence by synthesizing creatively the religious and philosophical principles is the subject of this thesis. In this context, I will also consider how he further strengthens his philosophical position through the analysis of a biblical parable, i.e. the Book of Job.
Citation Formats
İ. Budanur, “Problem of evil and divine providence in Maimonides’ philosophy,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.