Khramov Alexander

Theistic evolutionism and the problem of Theodicy

Khramov Alexander (2019) "Theistic evolutionism and the problem of Theodicy ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2019, vol. 83, pp. 26-44 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201983.26-44


This article analyses the approaches to the problem of theodicy which have been developed by proponents of the reconciliation of Christian worldview and evolutionism. Theistic evolutionists regard the evolution as a medium by which God created the world and, in contrast to traditional theology, cannot consider the Fall to be the primary cause of the universal evil. Therefore, in order to reconciliate the fact of the existence of evil and the concept of the omnipotent and loving God, they have recourse to the two alternative explanations. According to the fi rst, evolution was the only possible way of creating the world, and, consequently, evil, which accompanies it, is an unavoidable condition to achieve the good aim, such as the emergence of man and of other living creatures. According to the other explanation, which often complements the former, evil, which is intrinsic to the developing world, is necessary to prepare human souls to eternal life in the kingdom of God (the so-called Irenaean theodicy). This article shows that both these explanations are contradictory and combine badly with the idea of the eschatological recompense, to which theistic evolutionists also have recourse. Namely, if God were to recompense man and other living creatures for the suff ering they have experienced in the course of the evolution, why would He not have created the world in such a shape that it is going to acquire at the end of history. The article also looks at the alternative version of theodicy which is based on the idea about the pre-world Fall, due to which the original perfection of the world was distorted.


evolution, universal evil, Irenaean theodicy, eschatology, John Hick, Wolfhart Pannenberg, John Polkinghorne, Robert Russell


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Information about the author

Khramov Alexander

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Biology;
Place of work: Paleontological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences; SS Cyril and Methodius School of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies; 4/2, Building 1, Piatnitskaia Str., Moscow 115035, Russian Federation;
Post: postdoctoral researcher;
ORCID: 0000-0002-6888-5162;
Email: a_hramov89@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.