If there is a God, why does He allow evil in the world?

Margaret Mary McFadyen, Spiritual Director and Trustee of the Friends of Julian reflects, 

“If there is a God, why does He allow evil in the world?

This question is one I have been asked many times and in many situations over the years and every time I try to answer it, my answers seem hopelessly inadequate. I am not a theologian and I am reading my way slowly and steadily through Richard Norton’s book “Julian of Norwich and the Problem of Evil”. So far it is reassuring, enlightening and thought provoking. In the very first chapter when he tackles the very rationale of why the problem of evil is a problem, he gives a summary of possible replies to the question from different perspectives. I find that I have tried all of them at various points, unsatisfactorily. It was the introduction that hooked me however, even before I got into the chapters of the book. Norton says enticingly:

...the theoretical approach to theodicy is inherently immoral and serves only to legitimise the social, economic and political structures which impose suffering. In doing so, it is claimed, the theoreticians give licence and tacit intellectual support to those whom we would normally regard as evil people….

"Wow, just wow! He lays out the approaches of theoretical and pastoral theodicy with a view to how Julian of Norwich speaks to both sides of the discussion. I can’t wait to read more…

Richard Norton is in conversation with Rev. Bruce Batstone at the Julian Centre as part of the Julian Festival on May 10th.  Find more by clicking here.

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