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Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus on the Problem of Evil: Insights from their Commentaries on the Book of Job


This article broadly considers the commentaries on Job of Thomas Aquinas and Albert the Great as offering a helpful theological alternative to some modern philosophical approaches to the ‘problem of evil’. We seek to show that whereas some modern philosophers understand evil as a problem for the very existence of God, whether and how God can coexist with evil was never a question that evil seriously raised in the minds of Aquinas and Albert. In fact, although the suffering of the just in particular led our medieval Dominicans to wonder about divine providence and our ability to know God in this life, they understood the reality of evil as compelling evidence for the existence of God.