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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title The God Question and the Problem of Evil
Module Code TP309
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Peter Admirand
Semester 2: Peter Admirand
Autumn: Peter Admirand
Module TeachersPeter Admirand
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

This is a course of questions, with few, perhaps, no definitive answers. It is especially for those who do not expect to reach full certainty; 100% proof; no grey areas, conflicts, or need to nuance. It is a course which will succeed – and not fail – if one’s notion of the mystery of God is widened and expanded, if not further complicated – not solved nor minimised. And so let the questions begin: Does God exist, and if so, who or what is God? What is humanity? What is the purpose of life? For many, these, and the following, are the ultimate questions, or the ultimate mysteries: Can we know God? How? What does God reveal of God’s Self? Are there attributes of God that one can come to understand through the use of reason alone or through the world around us? What is revelation? What is revealed about God through the Bible, or for Catholics, the Bible and Sacred Tradition? Is the God of the Tanakh (Old Testament, Hebrew Bible) the same God of the Gospels? Does God reveal God’s Self beyond the normal confines of the Church? How can there be (a loving, omnipotent, etc.) God and the existence of suffering, evils, and useless terrors and afflictions? Is Jesus the final and most complete revelation of God? What does Jesus’ life reveal about God and the Christian Trinitarian belief? Must one know Jesus to know God? If so, what does this imply about the faith systems and beliefs of those of other faiths outside of Christianity? What about the revelations purported by Muslims in the Qur’an? What about God’s covenant with the Jewish people? How is God made manifest through indigenous religions? Can there be true, but conflicting notions of God among the world’s faiths or must there only be one true way? What is the relationship of ethics and God? Is the biblical God moral? Is God moral? Is there a difference in those last two questions? Is God perfectly good? Is God all-powerful? Is God omniscient (if so, then are we free?). Is God eternal? Is God impassible? If so, is God apathetic? What is justice to God? What is mercy to God? How does mercy and justice work together within God? What is the relationship between human and Divine Justice? What is the relationship of God and evolution, God and science? Is Deism valid? How about agnosticism or misotheism? Have views and interpretations of God changed in the course of so-called Christian history? Is God male? Female? Both/neither? How does one speak of God – through metaphor only? What can one say of God without footnotes or asterisks (*)? Is apophatic or kataphatic language more appropriate when speaking of God? Is God love (agape)? What is love (agape?). Does anyone know God? How? Who? Is God dead? Is God irrelevant? Is God dependent upon human beings? Is God abusive? Is God a projection of our thoughts or wishes, or a culture’s thoughts or wishes? Is God an unconscious longing or desire but nothing more? Is God partial? Does God love all equally or some in ways clearly superior to others? Does God answer prayers? Does humanity need God? Does God need humanity? What are human beings? Are they inherently good, evil, a blank slate – and how does this relate to God?

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of key themes, concepts and methods in theological exploration of the God Question.
2. Engage critically with historical and contemporary theological perspectives.
3. Critically reflect upon the dialogue between experience and reflection on the Mystery of God.
4. Empathise with the deeper questions of the men and women of our time, including reflection on the experience of suffering.
5. Understand the complexity of the problem and mystery of theodicy.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Directed learning48No Description
Online activity29No Description
Class Presentation24No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Faith Seeking Understanding
The Tasks of Theology: Wisdom, Rational Knowledge and Critical Reflection on Praxis

The Problem of Evil and the Mystery of Suffering

She Who Is
Feminist Reflection on the Mystery of God

God and Justice
An examination of liberation theology

Judaism and God
A Study of post-Shoah Jewish Theologians

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reflective journalDo a Summary and Reflection of the assigned readings due each week. Principle reading is based on the book: Amidst Mass Atrocity and the Rubble of Theology: Searching for a Viable Theodicy100%Every Week
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Peter Admirand: 2012, Amidst Mass Atrocity and the Rubble of Theology, Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers, 9781610973069
  • Jon Sobrino: 0, NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE POOR, Orbis Books, 9781570757525
  • Gustavo Guti�rrez; translated and edited by Sister Caridad Inda and John Eagleson: 1988, A theology of liberation, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y., 9780883445426
  • edited by Stephen T. Davis: 2001, Encountering evil, Westminister John Knox Press, Louisville, Ky., 9780664222512
  • Elizabeth A. Johnson: 0, Quest for the Living God, Continuum, 9781441174628
  • general editor, Steven T. Katz; associate editors, Shlomo Biderman, Gershon Greenberg: 0, Wrestling with God, Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 2007., 9780195300154
  • 2008: The night trilogy, Hill and Wang, New York, 260043
  • 0: Arguing With God, Jason Aronson, 314, 260044
  • 2016: The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, Oxford, 260045
  • 2019: Faith and Evolution: Grace-Filled Naturalism, Orbis, 260046
  • 2021: Seeking Common Ground: A Theist/Atheist Dialogue, Cascade Books, 260047
  • 2019: Humbling Faith: Brokenness, Doubt, Dialogue—What Unites Atheists, Theists, and Nontheists, Cascade Books, 260048
  • 2021: Voices from the Ruins: Theodicy and the Fall of Jerusalem in the Hebrew Bible, Erdmaans, 260049
  • 2012: Wandering in Darkness: Narrative And The Problem Of Suffering, OUP,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BREBachelor of Religious Education &English
BRHBachelor of Religious Education &History
BRMBachelor of Religious Education & Music

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