Theodicy and the problem of evil

Course Information
TitleΘεοδικία και το πρόβλημα του κακού / Theodicy and the problem of evil
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate, 2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodSpring
CoordinatorIoannis Kourempeles
Course ID600000056

Programme of Study: Anamorfōméno PPS Tmīmatos THeologías (2020)

Registered students: 3
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSElective CoursesSpring-3

Class Information
Academic Year2021 – 2022
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
Course Type 2011-2015
Knowledge Deepening / Consolidation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Examination)
  • French (Examination)
  • German (Instruction, Examination)
  • Italian (Examination)
Learning Outcomes
After the course students will be able to: a) classificate methodological modern bibliographic material. b) compare relationships of different philosophical views expressed on the understanding of a question that becomes a theological question c) distinguish special issues of specific Western theologians and be chosen with his thought, having elements with the principles of Orthodox theology.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Respect natural environment
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The presence of evil in the world has raised skepticism in relation to its position in the world, and the "power" of God. At the sight or even more, in experiencing the evil, man can only bend and be concerned about this question, resulting in some theological traditions to be theodician. That is the main issue of this subject that always coexists with humanity and it targets to become the occasion for constructive dialogue and fruitful discussion. The theological thought of German literature about the presence of evil in our era that is marked by the atrocity of Auschwitz, is presented by the Western theologian Metz. His work is discussed within the framework of the course, as he is a theologian after Auschwitz who is struggling to find a way to talk about God to a suffering world. This search for God Himself through the issue of theodicy, becomes nevertheless an improper Utopia about God. Thus, the banishment of God from the world is not an evangelical issue. Knowing that "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head"(Mt. 8, 20), we refer to the non-spatial (U-topian=Ου-τοπικό) and non-timing Son of God who comes in-space and in-time in order to save his creature, who, nevertheless, freely manages to exile themselves, due to the vast perichorisis of the Word, and experience the tragic ontological impasse that is caused by fragmentation. So man denies the Word the "bodily room for every detail of human life to fit, for the pain of this great detail to fit somewhere divinely." So every utopian effort either technical (technological), social or political one, is doomed to fail, since it idolizes the created, without hearing the in-spatial call of the uncreated Creator, who is calling for a meeting with him to the actual in-spatial utopia. This paradoxically universal utopia of the Word is the foundation that runs the context of the course, offering the ground for fruitful dialogue and salvific theology.
Theodicy, skepticism, salvific theology
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Video lectures
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Power Point, distance learning, movie screenings
Course Organization
Reading Assigment251
Written assigments90.4
Student Assessment
Oral exams and written works under certain conditions.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Ίωάννης Κουρεμπελές_Θεοδικία εν ουτοπία, Στοιχεία σύγχρονης ανατομίας του κακού και θεολογικός διάλογος με τις απόψεις του J.B. Metz, εκδ. Κυριακίδη, Θεσσαλονίκη 2014.
Additional bibliography for study
Ν. Ματσούκας, Το πρόβλημα του κακού (Δοκίμιο πατερικής θεολογίας), Θεσσαλονίκη (2002, 3η εκδ.).
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