Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Irenaen Theodicy

The soul-making theodicy - Key points to remember!

  • Irenaeus too believed that evil is the consequence of human free will and disobedience although he did not take the Genesis account literally like St.Augustine.
  • Different to Augustine, he implies that God is partly responsible for evil and suffering.
  • He argued that God created an imperfect world to begin with and imperfect and immature beings so that we could develop through the soul-making process into the child of God. This allows us to grow into his likeness.
  • He says that God could not have created humans perfectly because then whether we like it or not we would have to act morally. So he gives us free-will to allow us to willingly act morally which is a much more valuable act. However, for this God must allow evil and suffering to take place. 
  • A point to remember; for Irenaeus we are made in the image of God i.e. we have free-will, intelligence, choice etc. However, we are not perfectly created because we are not created in God's likeness thus we need to develop into this.
  • Natural evil has the divine purpose to develop qualities such as compassion through the soul-making process.
  • Moral evil is a mere derivative from human free-will and disobedience.
  • Irenaeus concluded that eventually humans will develop into the perfect likeness of God and everyone will have eternal life in heaven.

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