The Problem of Suffering: A Thomistic Approach
Professor Eleonore Stump (Saint Louis University)

January 26, 2017, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Department of Philosophy, University of York

Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building
University of York
York YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


David Efird
University of York
David Worsley
University of York


Speaker: Professor Eleonore Stump


Title: The Problem of Suffering: A Thomistic Approach


Date: Thursday January 26th 2017; Time: 18:30 – 20:00

Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, University of York


Only the most naïve or tendentious among us would deny the extent and intensity of suffering in the world. Can one hold, consistently with the common view, that there is an omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good God? As it is generally understood by philosophers and theologians, the question posed to religious belief by the problem of suffering is whether there is a morally sufficient reason for God to allow evil. It is clear that there is a long tradition of philosophically sophisticated, biblically based theodicies in the West -- and, of course, an equally long tradition of counter-arguments designed to rebut them. In particular, the medieval tradition from Augustine onwards certainly supposed itself to have a religiously deep and morally satisfying account of God's reasons for allowing suffering. In this lecture, I will present and defend the theodicy of Thomas Aquinas as a representative medieval account of the world and God's reasons for allowing suffering in it. 


Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. She has published extensively in philosophy of religion, contemporary metaphysics, and medieval philosophy. She is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division; and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering incorporates her Gifford Lectures (Aberdeen, 2003), Wilde lectures (Oxford, 2006), and Stewart lectures (Princeton, 2009).

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January 26, 2017, 1:00pm BST

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