Talk:Irenaean theodicy

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Good articleIrenaean theodicy has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
May 13, 2009Articles for deletionKept
September 13, 2011Good article nomineeNot listed
September 17, 2011Peer reviewReviewed
November 10, 2011Good article nomineeListed
March 14, 2012Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
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The title of this article is misspelled. The correct spelling is "Irenaean Theodicy", not "Iranaean Theodicy".

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Irenaean theodicy/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Quadell (talk contribs count) 12:08, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Nominator: User:ItsZippy

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. The prose is good.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. According to WP:LEAD, the lede should summarize all aspects of the article, without introducing any information not found in the article body. This lede doesn't do that.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. Some online references are poorly formatted (no information on websites besides the title). On the other hand, it's excellent that you have page numbers on the book refs. Some sources are clearly unreliable, such as "InfoBarrel", when there are many high-quality sources that cover the same info.
2b. all inline citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. All material is sourced, but some of the sourcing seems a little loose. For instance, the John Hick section sources the first paragraph to Cramer and the second to Tyler/Ried/Gordon, but it doesn't look like the Tyler source covers the first paragraph better than the second, or that the Tyler source covers the second paragraph better than the first. Specific facts should be sourced to the best source that contains the relevant info. Also, I'm not sure why the external links aren't used as references.
2c. it contains no original research. I don't think this is a problem.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. This is the primary problem with the article. See below.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Not a problem.
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. It seems adequately neutral, thus far.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. Not a problem.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by media such as images, video, or audio:
6a. media are tagged with their copyright statuses, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. Images are free and correctly tagged.
6b. media are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. Images are appropriately chosen and placed. There are very minor problems with the captions, but nothing serious.
7. Overall assessment. This does not pass our GA criteria at this time.

I really like this topic, and I think it deserves a quality article. The information in the article is good, but the main problem with it is that it is far too short. If you look at Featured Articles like Free will, Diocletianic Persecution, or Catholic doctrine regarding the Ten Commandments, you can really get a feel for what a fully fleshed-out article on a topic like this would look like. A glance through Google Books shows entire books written on the topic, as well as long chapters in more general reference books. Some of the unanswered questions in this article would be: What precursors (besides Irenaeuns) existed before Hick's interpretation that led to his understanding? What effects did Hick's idea have on Christianity or theology? What groups have spoken in favor of, or against, this theodicy? How does this relate to other major models (such as the Augustinian theodicy)? Did Hick write about this anywhere other than "Evil and the God of Love"? Etc.

I hope you continue to work on this article. You may want to submit it to Wikipedia:Peer review to get more opinions on the sort of material that should be added. Once it's fleshed out, feel free to resubmit it for GA review. All the best, – Quadell (talk) 12:50, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Analysis of recent changes[edit]

A good deal of material has been added since the last GA nomination! That's really excellent. A few problems jump out at me.

  • We probably can't use the book cover for Brothers Karamazov here, since it's a non-free copyrighted cover, and we can only use non-free images under a very strict set of circumstances. Perhaps it can be replaced by one of the free images of Dostoevsky. Anyway, the caption is wrong -- Dewi Zephaniah Phillips is totally separate from the book.
  • I think it would be neat to have a related quote from the Ivan character (in Brothers Karamazov) here, but the source used doesn't specify where Ivan's speech is found in the book, and it gives the wrong year for the novel anyway. None of our quotes from Dostoevsky seem related, and the book itself is much too large to skim through. But if you happen to find an actual quote from Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov about suffering and love, it would be great to use it. In fact, having several quote boxes would be a nice feature in this article.

I'll look more at it later. Thanks for your improvements! – Quadell (talk) 14:58, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

For those who will read this later, I made further suggestions at User talk:ItsZippy#Your GA nomination of Irenaean theodicy, and all my suggestions were implemented. All my previous concerns have been met, and I believe this is ready for a new GA review at this time. Best of luck! – Quadell (talk) 18:40, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I think the article could also benefit from a copyedit, as well as a review of sources. What makes ref 1 ([]) or ref 27 ([1]) reliable? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 22:19, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
In regards to the sources... I'm not sure about philosophyonline, to be honest. It is a self-published source; however, the guidelines on self-published sources suggests that a self-published source may be reliable if the person is an expert in their field and their work has been published by a reliable, third-party publisher. The website is run by Gareth Southwell (see here), who has had this, this and this published. The guidelines suggest that the publications need to be in the relevant field and, though they are directly about the problem of evil, they are about philosophy and the philosophy of religion. As for Scandalon, you're probably right - I do not believe that to be a reliable source. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:01, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Irenaean theodicy/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Aircorn (talk · contribs) 01:44, 3 November 2011 (UTC) I am willing to review this article. I should let you know that I know next to nothing about the topic. However I think this is not a bad thing as good articles should be accessible to everyone. The only issue I see with my lack of knowledge would be broadness, but I see that it has undergone extensive reviews before and has been expanded since the last nomination so I am not too worried from a first glance. AIRcorn (talk) 01:44, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, that is very much appreciated. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:26, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I have just finished my first read through and must say I am impressed. It was interesting and well written. I have left a few minor comments below. Don't feel you have to make every change, if you disagree with a comment just let me know underneath it. I will do the sources and other requirements shortly. AIRcorn (talk) 02:29, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

  • a distance between God and humans far enough that belief is God remains a free choice Grammar
 Done ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:53, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • For Irenaeus, then, suffering is a useful moral concept.
It is claimed that those who do not attain moral perfection in their lives will go to Hell to continue their development until, eventually, they reach the likeness of God.
This would mean that, ultimately, all people will enter heaven, regardless of their life on earth.
"then", "eventually" and "ultimately" seem superfluous . Not a big deal at all and if this is how you like to write keeping them in won't affect GA status.
yellow tickY Partly done"Then" and "eventually" removed. I kept "ultimately" in, as it clarifies his view that all people will eventually reach heaven, but not initially go there. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • As an example of how suffering can be beneficial, Irenaeus cites the Biblical example of Jonah whose suffering (in being swallowed by a whale) both enabled God's plan for the world to be fulfilled and also brought Jonah closer to God. Would it be possible to expand on this slightly for us non-bibliophiles. How did it enable gods plan for the world to be enabled and how was Jonah brought closer to God?
 Done I've slightly extended that to clarify it. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • In respect to eschatology, I don't know what eschatology is. If it can be explained easily I would consider doing so, if not just rely on the link.
 Done ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Gottfried Leibniz presented a form of the Irenaean theodicy in 1710, in his work, Théodicée. The double commas could be a bit confusing. Is the second one necessary.
 Done ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • He argues/Hick argues starts a quite few sentences in this section. Would be nice to mix it up a bit if possible.
 Done ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Although its proponents attempt to justify God, he is given as the reason for evil. This sentence did not fit very well. It is almost repeating what the previous sentence said.
 DoneI've merged it with the previous sentence to clarify and tighten the writing. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Schleiermacher was also a proponent of universalism, suggesting that every person is predestined to go to heaven; this cannot fail. This read wrong to me. Should it be "thus cannot fail"?
 Done"This cannot fail" was Schleiermacher's view - since you've pointed it out, it seems needlessly ambiguous, so has been removed. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your assessment. I've made most of the changes you've suggested - I've put individual comments below each point you've made. Let me know if you notice anything else. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)


GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Happy with the changes. Did you miss my first comment or did I read the sentence wrong?
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    Is philosophyonline considered reliable? Spot checks confirm information without any copy violations found.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    This has been addressed since last review
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    No red flags
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    Looks good
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Will pass this after a response to the above minor points

Sorry, just missed the first one. I've done that now. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:53, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

far enough that belief is God remains a free choice. I would have thought that it should read "...belief in God remains...". AIRcorn (talk) 21:09, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Eh, missed it again! Fixed now. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 21:52, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Still not sure about Philosophy online, but it isn't referencing anything controversial. May be an issue if you push for FA. Other than that I am happy to pass this. AIRcorn (talk) 06:23, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Introduced by John Hick?[edit]

An anonymous user keeps edit warring to say in the first sentence of the lead that Irenaean theodicy was "introduced by John Hick in 1966." This is not correct. It was named as a theodicy in 1966, but the concept itself is much older. I think the first sentence should identify the concept, with subsequent sections describing the complex origin of this concept, rather than stating outright that a 2nd-century idea was introduced in 1966. Would the anon, or anyone else, like to give opinions on this? (Note: the same non keeps making the same edit to the Augustinian theodicy page.) – Quadell (talk) 12:49, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

You're right - the theodicy was by no means invented or introduced by John Hick, and it is misleading to say that it is. I understand the concern the IP has though - it would be equally misleading to suggest that Irenaeus saw his theory as a 'theodicy', a term which did not exist until Leibniz. Perhaps we can compromise - could we say that the theodicy was identified by John Hick? The same goes for Augustinian theodicy. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 15:09, 6 September 2013 (UTC)


In receipt of your Talk page comments. I saw User:ItsZippy make an edit on the Augustine theodicy page also and thought he should know about the parallel discussion. My comments are about both pages and much of this discussion applies to both pages. If you need me to repeat on both pages I can do so if requested. The basic issue is chronological and was well-known to JHick himself and to the book reviewers of his book when it first came out. This is the chronology:

Augustine and Irenaeus; both before 500AD; both wrote extensively on "sin", "evil", "suffering". The term "theodicy" does not yet exist in their time according to Leibnitz (1710).

Leibnitz writes his book on Theodicy in 1710 and introduces the term as a neologism (new word) one 1000 years after Augustine and Irenaeus who could never have seen Leibnitz's book and as such never used the exact word "theodicy" in their writings. For Leibnitz, the etymology of the word is: theo-dicy which he derives from the Gk theos and dike, (God and Justice) usually translated as the "justification of God".

JHick in 1966 uses the phrase "augustinian theodicy" and "iranaean theodicy" to denote his references to Augustine and Irenaues writing about "sin", "evil", "suffering" in his remarkable book. This distinction is usually credited to him directly.

Given this short background, I think ItsZippy has put his finger on the matter by his suggestion of using the phrase "identified by JHick" or "ascribed bu JHick" to assist the clarification in the opening sentence and elsewhere as needed in this FA. To put this in very plain terms, Leibnitz is the one who first ever used the specific word "theodicy" which he claims to have invented in 1710 (see the wikipage for this); JHick knew about this Leibnitz word and ascribed the phrase "augustinian theodicy" and "irenaean theodicy" based on his knowledge of Leibnitz's use of the specific term. Neither Augustine nor Irenaeus ever used this specific word since it only came out in 1710. JHick uses his ascription as his way of referring to Augustine's extensive writings on sin, evil and suffering. Same for Irenaeus. The article as a whole should reflect this. (talk) 17:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

It seems that we agree then; I've put 'identified' into the lead. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 21:42, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, no problems here. – Quadell (talk) 12:30, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
The IP editor's addition was detrimental to the integrity of the first sentence. It's clumsy:
  • The Irenaean theodicy is a Christian theodicy designed to respond to the problem of evil as first identified by John Hick in 1966.
This makes it sound like John Hick first identified the "problem of evil", which is of course not the case.
In considering how to fix this problem, how to address the wish to ascribe the term to Hick, I concluded that the first sentence is not the place for it. The article is not about Hick's term; it is about the concept as it has existed for a millennium. The naming is secondary. Naturally, Hick should be credited with coining the term, but he is not responsible for the concept. The naming of Hick is of course already present in the lead section. I can imagine a rewriting of the lead section to bring Hick higher up, but I don't agree that Hick should be named in the first sentence. Binksternet (talk) 17:25, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree with Binksternet here. – Quadell (talk) 22:03, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Please stop edit warring on the Augustine Theodicy page and please stop suggesting that John Hick is "Ham-fisted". He was a respected scholar who introduced the phrase "Iren. theodicy" in 1966. Your grammatical reading of the sentence is deeply flawed. The subordinate clause in the sentence mentions "evil" and may be set off in commas for clarity. The main clause of the sentence is "Iren. Theodicy" and this phrase was identified by John Hick in 1966. He was a respected scholar and deserves full credit for this term. Same for the "Augustinean Theodicy" page. The chronologocial sequence represented above is completely accurate. Please stop edit warring on the Augustine Theodicy page during Talk-Discuss process. (talk) 19:10, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I understand your position. But you seem to be alone in holding it. – Quadell (talk) 22:03, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the lead needs to cover Hick's role in defining this type of theodicy as Irenaean, and it does. The second paragraph contains this, half way down: In 1966, philosopher John Hick discussed the similarities of the preceding theodicies, calling them "Irenaean". We don't need it in the first sentence. The lead follows the structure of the rest of the article - the first paragraph explaoins the basic outline of the theodicy, the second covers its development and history, and the third covers its critical reception. Hick's role in calling this kind of theodicy Irenaean is a crucial detail in the development of the theodicy; it is not a crucial detail in the philosophical overview of the theodicy. You can understand the philosophy without knowing about Hick; you cannot understand the theodicy's development without knowing about Hick. Thus, to mention Hick in the first paragraph is superfluous; to mention him in the second is essential. Augustinian theodicy may be a slightly different case (because of Hick's slightly different role in its development); I advise you discuss that on Talk:Augustinian theodicy, and stick to discussion of this article on this page to avoid confusion. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 11:45, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

My understanding of the BRD process is that a consensus edit is normally allowed to stand until at least the initial Talk-Discuss phase has gone through one or two cycles, or as needed. I am not reverting the text here as a sign of my good faith, and hope that one of you can restore the original consensus edit while the current BRD cycle is taking place. Only good faith collaboration can lead to improvement of wikipages in general.

There seem to be two separate conversations taking place here and it would make a large difference if I knew if I was speaking to editors who have actually read Hick's book or have not read Hick's book. From the above comments it appears that only ItsZippy and myself have actually studied the books in this discussion. User:Quadrell is a very, very competent wiki editor and can speak to the wiki editing aspect of this, however, the talk-discuss cycle deals with substantially different issues if this is a general edit policy discussion of people who have not read the book itself, or, a if it is a discussion between people who have read the book itself and can discuss its contents on its own merits. Which one of these options is this talk-discuss cycle to based on. Anyone opting an opinion should indicate if they have actually read the JHick book.

For the term "Iren. Theodicy" the point is quite direct: Do you have a reference for anyone other than JHick who has used the term "Iren. Theodicy" before him? Can you name a single such Scholar? Same for "Augustinian Theodicy." The old form of the consensus edit reflects accurately that it was JHick who first used this term in either its philosophical sense or its theological sense. He was the first one, and Mark Scott in his writings is very clear in acknowledging this fact to JHick. The responsible recognition of JHick for his full originality is fully merited in the first sentence which should read as "The Irenaean theodicy is a type of Christian theodicy, designed to respond to the evidential problem of evil, which was first identified by John Hick in 1966." This is consistent with how Mark Scott discusses it in his own writings on JHick's discussion of Iren. theodicy. (talk) 17:19, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

There are two problems regarding your supposition that "a consensus edit is normally allowed to stand". The first is that the burden of argument is generally upon the editor who wishes to insert text or retain disputed text. Disputed text is very often kept out of the article until consensus is formed to insert it or retain it. The second problem is that your consensus was flimsy, based more on other editors shrugging off your pushy edit warring style than on a serious evaluation of your proposed text and the way it changed the article.
It is obvious to everyone who has commented that your insertion degraded the high quality of prose that was in the article. Thus you will find no support for the idea that it should stay in the article until consensus is reached to remove it. My final observation on this matter is that such consensus has already been reached, that your insertion must stay out. If you want to name Hick earlier or more prominently in the lead section you must begin anew, making a new proposal, hopefully one that respects the high quality of prose. ItsZippy is already voicing thoughts in this direction. You can join the new effort by proposing a new solution. Binksternet (talk) 17:47, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

The text is posted for copyright protection which was renewed by the Macmillan Palgrave in 2010. Url is given

This protection of copyright applies also to the title which should read as "John H. Hick's 'Irenaean Theodicy'". (talk) 15:01, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

No. The use of the two words "Augustinian theodicy" is not a copyright violation. – Quadell (talk) 15:36, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

The unauthorized use of two words, or other short phrases, does constitute copyright violation when they are used repeatedly and when they are taken from a book which is copyrighted to protect the originality of the author in using the two words in an original and innovative form. The standard for reference is colloborated by David Griffin in his essay provided in this link.

The present article is a violation of the 2010 copyright renewed by Macmillan Palgrave for this book authored by Hick. The material is not properly acknowledged in both the title and in the first sentence of this article for fair use. The standard for copyright is that the first use of an original term must be acknowledged by citation of its source, which has a renewed 2010 copyrighted by the publisher Macmillan Palgrave. This wiki article does not acknowledge this. This is clearly a wiki article about "John H. Hick's 'Irenaean Theodicy'" and should acknowledge it in the title as well. The quotation form with footnote accomplishes this, and the title should be in conformity with the responsible David Griffin example which does not violate copyright. (talk) 20:37, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

No. That is not the standard for copyright, and you are making yourself (and, by extension, Hick, as many people may assume that you are he) look ridiculous by claiming that it is. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:53, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Wow. It is a phenomenal stretch to call our article a copyright violation. 209, you are off base here. Binksternet (talk) 22:07, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

There is no exception granted for copyright violation of even two words if they are not credited to the publisher and holder of the copyright. They are reused throughout this wikipage and are endemic to its content. Where is ItsZippy? He is the principal author of this text and currently an active Admin Editor at wiki. His opinion must be essential to the determination of his view on proper accrediting of this wikipage to John H. Hick. ItsZippy and myself are the only two persons who have apparently studied this book by JHick and his opinion is essential here as the principal author of this wikipage. (Preview: Where is ItsZippy. He should provide his explanation and this copyright notice should not be removed by anyone but him or until he responds to this issue. The full accreditation of the copyright held by Macmillan Palgrave (2010) is being requested to protect this wiki page against copyright violation. Where is ItsZippy? (talk) 18:52, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Nonsense. Binksternet (talk) 19:45, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Some scholars[edit]

I removed the following sentence from the end of the first paragraph because it did not fit the reading flow—it was not a good example of high quality writing.

  • Some scholars reject Hick's adoption of Irenaeus as the patron saint of his soul-making theodicy as historically and theologically unsustainable.

I looked for another part of the lead section to reinsert this sentence but I came up empty. The first problem is that Hick should be introduced as establishing the high importance of Irenaeus to the topic. That is, Hick should be introduced fully before the reader is told about his critics. The second problem is that Irenaeus must be discussed before we hear of "some scholars" who reject him. Irenaeus shows up in the second paragraph, not the first. Even so, the sentence did not seem to fit in the second paragraph without making some adjustments.

The second paragraph may be a suitable place for this sentence, with some work, or perhaps the third paragraph. Some of the critical scholars are actually named in the third paragraph of the lead section. Perhaps one of these scholars can be identified as disapproving of the "unsustainable" adoption by Hick. Binksternet (talk) 17:45, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks - I had intended to remove that but must have forgotten (or perhaps it was added again). Initially it was added to the lead with a link to a decent source. I used the source to write the section on Origen and added a sentence on Origen into the lead, which included theologian Mark Scott has argued that Origen, rather than Irenaeus, ought to be considered the father of this kind of theodicy. I think that's less weaselly, more neutral, and more informative; the sentence you removed can stay out IMO. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 22:15, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Brilliant. Attributing Mark Scott is an excellent possibility. Binksternet (talk) 23:20, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Possible sources[edit]

French theologian Edmond de Pressensé wrote in 1873 about Heresy and Christian Doctrine. He describes how Ireneaus laid out the way that goodness is a gift from God but that evil was created when Eve listened to the serpent and was both disobedient and unbelieving. This is exactly the Hick thesis: that God was not the originator of evil. (Note that the Google book is attributed on its cover to "Mme E. de Pressensé" who would be "Madame E. de Pressensé" – the wife of Edmond de Pressensé, a woman who was known before marriage as Elise Françoise Louise du Plessis-Gouret, herself a woman of letters. Inside the book it is clear that the husband wrote the original.)

German theologian Adolf von Harnack published in 1907's The History of Dogma his thoughts on Origen, Irenaeus and theodicy. He wrote that Origen was the first to say that evil was not from God. See the long footnote on pages 343–344.

In 1965, in parallel to but separate from John Hick, American theologian Richard Alfred Norris Jr published his thoughts about the problem of evil, discussing the issue on pages 92–98 of his God and World in Early Christian Theology, published by Seabury Press. Norris says that Irenaeus defined evil as a development in the world that God made, but that evil was not made by God. He says on page 144 that Origen "insists" that evil is not a creation of God nor is it independent of God. Binksternet (talk) 18:57, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Pre-FAC peer review[edit]

Just to clarify- I'm not a philosopher of religion, though I am familiar with the Irenaean theodicy and Hick's work. J Milburn (talk) 19:27, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

  • I find the second paragraph of the lead a bit listy. Perhaps you could move Hick's observation about there being many different "Irenaean" theodicies to the start of the paragraph, to clarify why you're listing all these people.
  • Why's Hick a "philosopher" but Swinburne's a "British philosopher"?
  • His free will defence was not a theodicy because he was trying to show the logical compatibility of evil and the existence of God, rather than the probability of God." This assumes a lot of knowledge. It's a bit too technical for the lead. In any case, it falsely implies that a theodicy is to show "the probability of God".
  • "D. Z. Phillips and Fyodor Dostoyevsky challenged the instrumental use of suffering, suggesting that love cannot be expressed through suffering. Michael Tooley argued that the magnitude of suffering is excessive and that, in some cases, cannot lead to moral development. French theologian Henri Blocher criticised Hick's universalism, arguing that such a view negates free will, which was similarly important to the theodicy." This again gets listy. It also falsely implies that Dostoyevsky joined some kind of academic debate with Plantinga.
  • "The Irenaean theodicy was first identified as a form of theodicy by John Hick in Evil and the God of Love, written in 1966." Is that really true? It's definitely in the Hall source cited?
  • I'm surprised there's no link anywhere to inconsistent triad.
  • "The theodicy attempts to demonstrate that the existence of God remains probable, despite the occurrence of evil." Is that really what the source says? Even if the source does say that, surely there will be others who will characterise a theodicy as merely attempting to show that the problem of evil is not the problem it initially seems? It's a counter-argument, not an argument in its own right.
  • I'm inclined to think that the outline is a little light. Could we have more on the idea of imperfect creation? How does one develop? What are they aiming for? There's a lot going on here which is skirted over. The short paragraph on this being the "best possible world" doesn't do it any justice; we've got an article on just that. There's a lot more to be said. (There also needs to be a link to that article in the section.)
  • Did Irenaeus and Origen influence each other? If not, I'm not sure how we could list them both in a section on "development". "History" may be a better title. (Also, I wonder, was this not talked about by the Scholastics at all? I honestly don't know, but if it was, that definitely belongs here. Even if it wasn't, perhaps we could find a cite saying that?)
  • "an epistemic distance (or intellectual distance) from" Those phrases are not synonyms.
  • Nowhere does this article link to teleology. This, surely, is an oversight?
  • "he believed that a good world would be best suited to that purpose." It's not clear what is meant here.
  • "Jonah ended up repenting for his sin and the people of Nineveh turn to God" Tense switch.
  • The phrase "Origenian theodicy" seems to have found some purchase in the literature; I think it belongs in the first line of the article.
  • "being 'all in all'." Why single quotes? What does this even mean?
  • "the books of Solomon" What are these? Could we link to an article on work(s), rather than Solomon himself?
  • I don't like the use of "our"; it seems a bit self-reference-y and non-neutral.
  • "heaven" or "Heaven"?
  • "Scott argues that significant aspects of Origen's theology mean that there is a stronger continuation between it and Hick's theodicy." Stronger than what?
  • "his universalism" This needs to be explained.
  • "the virtue of" What's meant by virtue, here? Could we have a link or explanation?
  • You should probably provide links to the thinkers when you introduce them in their own sections. Sometimes the article does, sometimes it doesn't.
  • I think you need to introduce the Augustinian theodicy earlier in the article. You vaguely allude to it (including linking to it) a few times before finally explaining it in the section on Hick.
  • The picture of Hick should probably mention the year it was taken. "John Hick (pictured in [year]) developed..."
  • Are we using "He" and "Him" or "he" and "him" for God? There must be something in the MOS somewhere.
  • "he doctrine proposes that God is benevolent but suggests that his power is restricted to persuasion, rather than coercion and so is unable to prevent certain evil events from occurring." This is a rather clumsy sentence.
  • Rather than "reception", how about "Counter arguments" or "Responses"?
  • I'd quite like to hear more of Griffin's arguments.
  • Plantinga's philosophy is... Pretty weird. I'm not quite clear what the bits you say about him have to do with the Irenaean theodicy. Perhaps his use of "best of all possible worlds" language belongs in the article on that concept, but not here? I'm not sure. Do you have third party sources tying his work to the IT?
  • I wonder if Dostoyevsky, Phillips and Tooley could be merged. They're making essentially the same argument. I think organising by argument is better than organising by thinker.
  • Alyosha was a priest, wasn't he? Nevermind "theist"! Some examples of the suffering Ivan sees would be instrumental, I think.

Some pointers for possible expansion:

  • I think C. S. Lewis wrote about this stuff. I seem to remember he had a metaphor of a sculptor. Perhaps he has a place in the article, somewhere?
  • I wonder if there is anything like the Irenaean theodicy in other religious/philosophical traditions? I honestly don't know, but I suspect there'll be a paper or two somewhere.
  • As an example, some Googling (how did I guess someone would have suggested this...) reveals this book; page 68 and page 69 suggest that Nietzsche has a secularised version of the IT.

Hope this stuff's helpful. The article's actually very strong, and would be a great starting point for researching the subject (and a great help for stumped students!) but I don't think it's quite FA level, yet. (A very solid GA, though.) I made a few fixes- this is the only one which warrants a trouting! J Milburn (talk) 19:54, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Leibniz presents an Augustinian and NOT an Irenaean Theodicy according to John Hick[edit]

The article lists Leibniz's theodicy as Irenaean according to John Hick. This is incorrect, as Hick sees Leibniz firmly in the Augustinian-Thomist tradition. In Hick's "Evil and the God of Love" the section on "Eighteenth-Century 'Optimism', which includes a chapter on "Leibniz's 'Theodicy'", is located in Part II 'The Augustinian Type of Theodicy'. While there are some obvious differences between Augustine and Leibniz, Hick concludes that "Leibniz stands within the broad Augustinian tradition" [1]. It is obviously correct that Leibniz sees the world as "the best of all possible worlds" rather than merely a world gone wrong but Leibniz's idea of "best" includes the Neo-Platonist and Augustinian principle of plentitude and the Felix Culpa – so it is the best world in the sense that the fallenness of the world is the best that could have happened, which is again broadly Augustinian. [2] The entire section on Leibniz should be removed from this article, since it does not belong here. Since "the best of all possible worlds" is not an Irenaean but an Augustinian (or specifically a Thomist) idea, I am not convinced that Plantinga should be in the article either. But I am no expert on Plantinga, so I might be wrong. In any case, if Plantinga belongs here, the reason why he does should be better explained.NelePollatschek (talk) 17:01, 27 June 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Hick, John (2010). Evil and the God of Love. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 158. ISBN 9780230283961.
  2. ^ Hick, John (2010). Evil and the God of Love. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 159. ISBN 9780230283961.