God and Evolutionary Evil: Theodicy in the Light of Darwinism



Pain, suffering, death, and extinction have been intrinsic to the process of evolution by natural selection. This leads to a real problem of evolutionary theodicy, little addressed up to now in Christian theologies of creation. The problem has ontological, teleological, and soteriological aspects. The recent literature contains efforts to dismiss, disregard, or reframe the problem. The radical proposal that God has no long–term goals for creation, but merely keeps company with its unfolding, is one way forward. An alternative strategy to tackle the problem of evolutionary theodicy is outlined, with an implication for environmental ethics and suggestions for further work.