#34. Theodicy


(8 letters | 4 syllables)
(scrabble score – 17)
noun | the branch of theology that defends God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil

Wolfram Alpha)

: defense of God’s goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil.

originally from the modification of French théodicée, from théo– the- (from Latin theo-) + Greek dikē judgment, right.
(Merriam Webster)

(plural theodicies)
The vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence.

Late 18th century: from French Théodicée, the title of a work by Leibniz, from Greek theos ‘god’ + dikē ‘justice
(Oxford Dictionaries)

Theodicy (n.)
“vindication of divine justice,” 1771, from French théodicée, title of a 1710 work by Leibniz to prove the justice of God in a world with much moral and physical evil, from Greek theos “god” (see theo-) + dike “custom, usage; justice, right; court case,” from PIE *dika-, from root *deik- (see diction). Related: Theodicean.

■■ Free Copy of Liebniz famous work, Theodicy,  the The Gutenberg Project.

■■ Or you might want an this abridged version offer by St Anselm College

■■ For an interesting treatment on Liebniz including his differences with Newton and Separate development of Calculus  see Marc Bobro’s article in The New Atlantis


For a much deeper search into the subject of theodicy and what it meant to the 17th century natural philosphers engaged in we include a portion of Mark Larrimore’s work contextualizing the term below:


“Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s (1646–1716) neologism théodicée (from Greek theos, God dike, justice) means divine justice, but the term has long been conflated with John Milton’s (1608–1674) promise to “justify the ways of God to men.” In 1791 Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) defined theodicy as “the defense of the highest wisdom of the creator against the charge which reason brings against it for whatever is counterpurposive in the world” (p. 24).

Many intellectual historians see theodicy as a specifically modern, perhaps even a more specifically eighteenth-century phenomenon, but the term has come to have broader meanings. Auguste Comte (1798–1857) described all natural and philosophical theology as theodicy. Scholars of religion call all efforts to answer a problem of evil thought to be universal theodicies. The Book of Job, the Indian doctrine of karma, and even capitalist faith in the market have all been seen as theodicies.

There is good reason to restrict the meaning of the term, however, if not to post-Leibnizian thought then at least to philosophical discussions of a certain sort.”

…..Continue reading at …..


Larrimore, Mark. “Theodicy.” New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2016 .

Frightening tree of Theodicy

No one thing, without its opposite.

About Justin Arn

Part-time Bartender. Full Time Learner. Currently exploring the mystery and wonder of life while coding, reading, and hiking.
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