Augstine and Plantinga on the Problem of Evil

Augustine, otherwise known as St Augustine, is said to have returned “again and again, over a period of nearly half a century” to the “problem of evil” and is credited with clearly defining the problem regardless of whether he is finally considered to have successfully answered it. Plantinga, one of the most rigorous of late 20th century philosophers, described the problem of evil as “the most impressive argument of natural atheology” and is credited by Sennett as offering “easily the most sophisticated version” of the defensive strategy that is said to have originated with Augustine. This essay describes first in general terms the aspects of the problem of evil that both men had perceived were so problematic for philosophical theology. It then proceeds to describe Augustine’s and Plantinga’s approaches to the problem of evil and evaluates whether his claim to be presenting an Augustinian argument is justified. In final conclusion, it evaluates whether his argument is an effective support to the rationality of Christian belief.

You can read a PDF of the essay here.

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