An Analysis of the Philosophical and Theological Grounds of John Hick’s Notion of ‘Soul-making’ Theodicy



The present study seeks to explain and analyse some of the fundamentals of Hick’s discussion of the problem of evil or theodicy. In this study, while analysing John Hick’s solution to the problem of the existence of evil in the world, we will see that he begins his exposition of the discussion of theodicy by interpreting the notion of primordial fall (and sin) as a myth and opines that moral evils results from the existential requisites of epistemic distance and free will in man. In his opinion, the acquisition of virtues and perfection soul cannot be attained except through confronting evils. In order to work-out his solution to theodicy Hick resorts to some of the important elements in his theology, viz. the themes of eschatology, purgatory, and successive lives after death. However, the theological foundation of Hick’s theory implies false consequences stemming from the fact that propositions of the Sacred Book play no role in the generation of faith in God and the manipulation of ‘pluralism’ in religious concepts cause ambiguity to our apprehension of the debate about the problem of evil. In his discussion of ‘pluralism of salvation,’ Hick has selected those verses that are in conformity with the universal vision of salvation of the world while he has ignored those verses that point to the eternal punishment hell.