One of those rare questions in philosophy that is not only technically recalcitrant but also engages the hearts and minds of the broad community is the so-called 'problem of evil': How can the existence of an absolutely perfect God be reconciled with the existence of suffering and evil? This collection of dialogues between eight philosophers of religion explores new ways of thinking about this longstanding problem, in the process reorienting and reinvigorating the
philosophical debate around the relationship between God, goodness and evil: How exactly are these three notions connected, if at all? Is God the cause, or author, of evil and suffering? How is the goodness of God to be understood, and how is divine goodness related to human morality? Does God's
perfect goodness entail that God must have reasons for permitting or bringing about suffering, and if so what could his reasons be?
These questions are of momentous existential and theoretical interest, and they have exercised the finest intellects across the centuries. The time is ripe for a wholesale reconsideration of the problem of evil. To make progress towards this goal, eight distinct perspectives are placed in mutual dialogue, giving voice to both traditional and relatively unorthodox approaches. What emerges from these critical but friendly exchanges is a diversity of fruitful and innovative ways of thinking about
the nature of divinity and its relationship to evil.
N.N. Trakakis is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University. He has authored The God Beyond Belief (Springer, 2007) and The End of Philosophy of Religion (Continuum, 2008). He has also co-edited, with Graham Oppy, the five-volume History of Western Philosophy of Religion (Acumen, 2009) and the two-volume History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand (Springer, 2014).