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An Islamic Theodicy

An Islamic Theodicy

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Published by Norwegian79

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Published by: Norwegian79 on Jun 21, 2012
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ANISLAMIC THEODICY:IBN TAYMIYYAONTHEWISE PURPOSEOF GOD,HUMANAGENCY,AND PROBLEMS OFEVILANDJUSTICE
by
JONR. HOOVERAthesissubmittedtoThe UniversityofBirminghamforthedegreeofDOCTOROFPHILOSOPHY
DepartmentofTheologySchoolofHistoricalStudiesTheUniversityofBirminghamMay 2002
 
ABSTRACT
AtheodicymaintainsthatGodisrationalincreating a worldcontainingevil.ThisthesisshowsthattheMuslim HanbalitheologianIbn Taymiyya(d.728/1328)presentsatheodicyof optimism orabest-of-all-possible-worldstheodicyinwhichGodwills allexistentsfrometernityforthewise purposeor causeof establishingHisperfectionand righttoworship.God'sall-encompassingcreationprecludeslibertarianfreedom. Nonetheless,IbnTaymiyyaassertshumanresponsibilitybyfocusingondivinecommand,the`reality'ofhumanagency, andsecondarycausality.Evilisminisculeandharmfulrelativeonlytohumans,andit isgoodbyvirtueofthedivinewisepurposeanditseducationaland religiousbenefits. IbnTaymiyyamaintainsasemblanceofdivineretributivejusticebyattributingevildeedstohumansortracingthemtononexistence.However,God'sjusticeisfundamentallyHisgoodnessincreation,andHecreatesthebestof all possibleworldsout ofthenecessity ofHisperfection.IbnTaymiyyaisreticenttoacknowledge rationaldifficulties.This,andthecharacterofhistheodicyas awhole,isexplainedby hisapologeticintentiontoelicit religiousdevotionthroughinterpretationofGod'sultimately unknowableattributesbyreferencetorevealedtraditionandrationalnotions ofperfection-especiallyethical utilitarianism.
 
TOMYMOTHER AND FATHER

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