Fallen Angel Theodicies: A Philosophical Assessment

Kent Dunnington

Biola University

This talk offers a philosophical assessment of fallen angel theodicies. Fallen angel theodicies are a class of theories that try to explain the existence of some class of evil, typically so-called “natural evil”, by appeal to the sinful and destructive acts of Satan and other fallen angels. The first part of the talk is focused on the philosophical and theological promise of such theodicies, arguing that they are less popular among contemporary theorists than they should be, and that they are typically dismissed for all of the wrong reasons. The second part of the talk focuses on the real philosophical challenges that confront fallen angel theodicies, arguing that most of the challenges have to do with how such theodicies interface with prominent features of scientific orthodoxy and practice.

Kent Dunnington is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Biola University in La Mirada, California. He holds a doctorate degree in philosophy from Texas A&M University and a masters degree in theological studies from Duke University. His areas of interest and writing include the virtues and virtue ethics, the philosophy of addiction, and various issues in the philosophy of religion. He is the author of Addiction and Virtue (InterVarsity Academic 2011) and Humility, Pride, and Christian Virtue Theory (Oxford University Press, 2020), as well as numerous scholarly and popular articles. He lives in Newport Beach, California with his wife, daughter, and bulldog.

This talk is part of the conference “The Origin of Life and Nature Before Sin: Scientific and Theological Perspectives”, which took place at the Angelicum on 1-2 April 2022. Click here to download the conference brochure.