1st Edition

God, Evil, and Redeeming Good A Thomistic Theodicy

By Paul A. Macdonald Jr. Copyright 2023

    This book offers an original contribution to debates about the problem of evil and the existence of God. It develops a Thomistic, Christian theodicy, the aim of which is to help us better understand not only why God allows evil, but also how God works to redeem it.

    In the author’s view, the existence of evil does not generate any intellectual problem that theists must address or solve to vindicate God or the rationality of theism. This is because acknowledging the existence of evil rationally leads us to acknowledge the existence of God. However, understanding how these two facts are compatible still requires addressing weighty, wide-ranging questions concerning God and evil. The author draws on diverse elements of Aquinas’s philosophy and theology to build an argument that evil only exists within God’s world because God has created and continues to sustain so much good. Moreover, God can and does bring good out of all evil, both cosmically and within the context of our own, individual lives. In making this argument, the author engages with contemporary work on the problem of evil from analytic philosophy of religion and theology. Additionally, he addresses a broad range of topics and doctrines within Thomistic and Christian thought, including God, creation, providence, original sin, redemption, heaven and hell, and the theological virtues.

    God, Evil, and Redeeming Good is an essential resource for scholars and students interested in philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

    1. Introduction 

    2. The Existence of Evil and the Existence of God 

    3. God, Evil, and the Good Creation 

    4. Free Will, the Fall, and Original Sin 

    5. God the Redeemer and Redemptive Suffering 

    6. Heaven, Hell, and the Perfection of the Universe 

    7. Hoping in the Face of Evil.


    Paul A. Macdonald Jr. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the United States Air Force Academy. He is the author of Christian Theology and the Secular University (Routledge, 2017) and Knowledge and the Transcendent: An Inquiry into the Mind’s Relationship to God (2009).