Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil

ISBN : 9780199931842

Nicola Hoggard Creegan
224 Pages
162 x 240 mm
Pub date
May 2013
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Nicola Hoggard Creegan offers a compelling examination of the problem of evil in the context of animal suffering, disease, and extinction and the violence of the evolutionary process. Using the parable of the wheat and the tares as a hermeneutical lens for understanding the tragedy and beauty of evolutionary history, she shows how evolutionary theory has deconstructed the primary theodicy of historic Christianity--the Adamic fall--while scientific research on animals has increased appreciation of animal sentience and capacity for suffering. Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil responds to this new theodic challenge. Hoggard Creegan argues that nature can be understood as an interrelated mix of the perfect and the corrupted: the wheat and the tares. At times the good is glimpsed, but never easily nor unequivocally. She then argues that humans are not to blame for all evil because so much evil preceded human becoming. Finally, she demonstrates that faith requires a confidence in the visibility of the work of God in nature, regardless of how infinitely subtle and almost hidden it is, affirming that there are ways of perceiving the evolutionary process beyond that 'nature is red in tooth and claw.'


1: Animals in the Garden of Eden
2: Human, Animals and Death Revisited
3: Animal Suffering-philosophical responses
4: Animal Suffering-theological responses
5: The Best of all Possible Worlds?
6: The Wheat and the Tares: Re-Imagining Nature
7: A Picture Held us Captive
8: New Dynamics in Evolutionary Theory
9: Dualism or Tares in Evolutionary History?
10: The Fall and Beyond
11: Concluding Animal Ethics

About the author: 

Senior Lecturer in Theology, and Dean of Graduate School, Laidlaw College

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