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Jonathan
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January 2011
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Augustine's Meontic Theory of Evil

This is the text of an essay I wrote for my philosophical theology course last term, on Augustine's theory of the 'meontic' nature of evil.

     St. Augustine admits in his Confessions that the question of evil was in part what drove him to Manichaeanism.[1] He further admits to having been deceived thereby: ‘I did not know [then] that evil has no existence except as a privation of good, down to that level which is altogether without being.’[2] Here he points ahead to what he claims to be his crucial understanding of what evil is, or, to be more precise, what it, in fact, isn’t.

     I shall consider what might be described as Augustine’s ‘meontic’ theory of evil,[3] and more contemporary analyses of evil along the same lines, later, but it is first worth answering briefly the question as to how Augustine came to hold such a position.

     Augustine arrived at his ‘meontic’ theory of evil in part because of his preceding rejection of Manichaean cosmic dualism. It made no sense to posit two opposing active principles, the one good, the other evil, because this led to a logical impossibility, as demonstrated by Augustine’s friend Nebridius.[4] How could the Manichaeans say that God (the good principle) was incorruptible, if the soul, which is supposed to be ‘some portion of [God]... an offspring of [his] very substance’, is subject to corruption? And if the soul is subject to corruption, how can the saving ‘word’ come to its aid, when it is ‘of one and the same substance as the soul’? So Manichaeanism was caught in an inescapable dilemma. On its own view, God could not be incorruptible, for if he were, he would not be involved in any combat with an opposing ‘race of darkness’ which could corrupt some part of him. But if God were corruptible, the whole Manichaean scheme of salvation (and thus its raison d’être) collapsed.

     Augustine had not yet arrived at the ‘meontic’ theory to explain the origin of evil, despite the discrediting of Manichaeanism.[5] The influence of St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan cannot be underestimated,[6] but in the Confessions Augustine names ‘some books of the Platonists’ as the influence for his ‘meontic’ theory of evil.[7] These probably included the Enneads of Plotinus.

     A full account of the influence of Neoplatonism on Augustine is not possible here, but, as we shall see, the account of the being and origin of evil in the Enneads was clearly influential.

     Plotinus begins by giving a brief account of the nature of the Good, because, as he states, to have knowledge of evil, it is necessary to have knowledge of its opposite, good.[8] He goes on to assert that evil does not participate in the goods which are the three foremost Forms.[9] These goods are ‘what really exists and what is beyond existence’.[10] From this, Plotinus conceives of evil as possessing (as it were) qualities both of absolute contingency and opposite to those of the good, and states that these are ‘essential’ in a way to what evil is.[11] Furthermore, this evil is absolute in the sense that it is the ‘stuff’ to which qualities of extension in space apply, yet are not essential to it.[12] This absolute evil Plotinus identifies as matter, and it is that which cannot ‘come into being’.[13] Matter, in other words, is that which cannot receive form, which cannot participate, however feebly, in the Good. Plotinus furthermore claims that matter, and therefore evil, is necessary.[14]

     Most germane to our discussion of Augustine’s theory of evil as non-being is Plotinus’s rejection of the idea of evil as privation.[15] In this context, he is referring to privation as a privation of form. He rejects the notion of evil as privation (which would result, he claims, in it not having ‘independent existence’), because to define evil as such, he argues, is to create the situation where a soul may be considered wholly evil because of the absence of good in it, something which he views as self-contradictory. Given that Plotinus views evil (because matter) as absolute and necessary, it is no surprise that he comes to this conclusion. Elsewhere he defends the goodness of the material realm, because things which have being participate in the Good, and, though admixtures of good (form) and evil (matter), they are essentially good because of form in them.[16] Matter, then, is evil, but things with matter in them are not, for they participate in the good; they have form.

     In sum, although evil is non-being in Plotinus, it is absolute, and not to be defined solely in terms of privation, because matter which cannot receive form is necessary for there to be matter which does receive form. Although there is evil in the universe, the latter is fundamentally good, for it reflects the goodness of the intelligible world (and beyond it the Good). We shall see that Augustine differs from Plotinus in several respects.

    From Plotinus, Augustine learned that all things participated in the Good, and therefore had a share in existence.[17] From this he concluded, ‘as long as [things] exist, they are good.’[18] In relation to this he argued that corruption deprived things of good, and so of existence: ‘[i]f they were to be deprived of all good, they would not exist at all.’[19]

     His reasoning for this was that things incapable of being corrupted would either be supremely good, hence incorruptible, or would have no good at all, in which case there would be nothing in them to corrupt. But something with no good in it at all Augustine could not see how it could exist, for if it did so exist, it would have to be considered good, for it was effectively immune to corruption: but this, he noted, was ‘absurd’, for how can it be said ‘that by losing all good, things are made better?’[20] His conclusion was that evil could not be a substance, for substances, being created things, were by definition good.[21] ‘I inquired what wickedness is; and I did not find a substance but a perversity of will turned away from the highest substance, you O God, toward inferior things’.[22] From this he concludes that there is no real evil in the created order; rather, people in their wickedness and folly believe there to be evil.[23]

     Although Augustine had been influenced by Plotinus in many respects, his conception of the nature of evil is much different. In his description in book VII of the Confessions of evil after reading the Platonist books he effectively abandons his earlier inquiry into the origin of evil.[24] Evil, not being substantial, is unoriginate. Whereas Plotinus denied that evil was a privation, and said that it had an existence of a sort as matter. Augustine, who here conceives of evil primarily as corruption (not unlike Plotinus), felt he could not but so conclude, for unless evil as corruption was a privation of the good, and hence of existence, the logically absurd conclusion could be reached that something so corrupted that it could be corrupted no further was therefore good, for it was effectively incorruptible. Evil, then, is not a substance, it does not have being: for something to become evil is to be deprived of good, to be corrupted, and to the extent it is corrupted, to that extent it is deprived of existence, of ontological reality.

     Augustine argued that all substances were good, denying, in effect, the absoluteness of evil as argued by Plotinus,[25] and concluded that evil was a form of perversity, a turning away from the highest good, which is God. Created things are good in their place, but to concern one’s self with them too much is perverse.[26] In the Confessions Augustine explicates briefly his ‘meontic’ theory of evil. Along the way he seems to abandon the idea of there being some category of things ‘altogether without being’, at least in the sense of matter being absolute and possessing a kind of shadowy existence.[27] Did Augustine consistently hold such a view about evil? I shall briefly examine some of Augustine’s other works.

     Augustine’s On Order was written shortly after his return to Christianity, some years before the Confessions; and it is likely that the influence of Platonism should be found in this work.[28] In the literary debate, one character, Licentius, argues that because there is nothing outside order, evil is a part of order, although God does not love evil.[29] Augustine later tries to correct Licentius: the boy’s argument would lead one to conclude that evil does come from out of order (or even that ‘[o]rder began the moment evil came into being’).[30] In showing Licentius’s arguments to be false, Augustine states: ‘As to this non-entity we call evil, it either always was, or it began at some stage.’[31] References to evil in On Order are few, brief, and confusing.[32] The problem of evil and God’s order does not seem to be resolved satisfactorily. Nevertheless, the clearest statement about evil in this work is that it is ‘non-entity’, nihil.

     Augustine’s discussion of what evil is takes greater scope in The City of God. In Book XII, in his discussion of the angelic inhabitants of the ‘two cities’ (the one earthly and damned, the other heavenly and present with God), he writes that the fault of the fallen angels for not cleaving to God reveals the praiseworthiness of their nature, for a fault shows how the good the nature was that is flawed.[33] He follows up on this by stating:

Let these remarks dissuade anyone from supposing... that [the rebel angels] could have received another nature as from some different first cause, and not from God. ... God is the Supreme Being – that is, He supremely is ... He gave being to the things that he created from nothing, then, but not a supreme being like His own. ... To that Nature which supremely is, therefore, and by Whom all else that is was made, no nature is contrary save that which is not; for that which is contrary to what is, is not-being. And so there is no being contrary to God... .[34]

 

Augustine continues by showing from the example of the effects of vice, that it is not the nature of those who oppose God which is opposed to God, but the vices which they possess. Vice harms nature, which means that natures capable of being harmed by vice are good.[35] From this Augustine concludes that while ‘there can exist things which are wholly good... there can never be things which are wholly evil.’[36] Against the interpretation that such vice can afflict the natural world Augustine insists upon the intrinsic goodness of created things, pointing out that much complaint about them stems not from their proper nature, but how they may harm people.[37] From this, Augustine claims, it follows that God ‘is not to be reproached with the faults [of nature] which trouble us.’[38] Augustine’s theory of the ‘nature’ of evil does not seem to allow for ‘natural evil’, for such might imply a nature, a being, opposite to God.

     Augustine goes on to seek the origin of the evil wills of the fallen angels. He writes, ‘if we seek an efficient cause of the evil will of the wicked angels, we shall find none.’[39] In discussing this statement, Augustine argues that the cause of a given evil will must be another evil will.[40] But the original evil will had to exist in a good nature, which it subsequently deprived of good, or it could not exist, for no nature that was not good originally could have existed.[41] By the example of two men tempted to unchastity, Augustine demonstrates that an evil will is produced by a ‘natural creature made out of nothing’, and that evil is a defect, a ‘turning’ from what is best to lesser things.[42] Evil, thus, has a ‘deficient’ cause – it is a defect of the will in turning away from God, conceived of as ontologically perfect, to anything which is less so – and it is in some sense impossible to truly ‘know’: it would be like ‘wishing to see darkness or hear silence... [both of which are known] not... by their appearance, but by their lack of appearance.’[43]

     Later, in Book XIV, in discussing the Fall, Augustine claims that the first evil act was preceded by an evil will (it being impossible for a will that is not evil to transgress), and such a will could only have come to be in a creature created out of nothing.[44] To ‘fall away’ from one’s nature, as Augustine here puts it, is (as it were) to step away from being toward nothingness.[45] Evil, then, is a result of creatures having been created ex nihilo, a defect in their nature, by which they are able to obey or serve other created things instead of God who created them. To will to do so is, in Augustine’s view, worse than the deed that follows.[46]

     For Augustine, then, evil, at root, is a deprivation of good, and, as such, of existence.[47] Furthermore, he argues, the ‘defects [of an evil will] are not necessary but voluntary’ because ‘evil would not arise in [the will] if the will itself were unwilling.’[48] ‘[D]efects of the will’, moreover, are ‘not toward evil things’, because there are no ‘things which are evil by nature and in themselves’; rather, ‘defects of the will... are themselves evil’, for ‘it is the defection of the will itself which is evil.’[49]

     Augustine’s ‘meontic’ theory of evil, then, is that evil is a defect capable of actualisation only in created things, and then only those which have wills, for only creatures with evil wills may do evil, defined as turning from God (‘[He] Who supremely is’)[50] toward lesser things (that is, anything belonging to the created order). This ‘turning’ is vague in Augustine, but we may characterise it as ‘declaring ultimate obedience to some referent other than God in Christ.’ Evil does not so much have an origin (although it may be argued that the potentiality for evil originated with the creation of creatures with the power of will), and certainly not any efficient cause, and the end result of turning away from God is to begin to negate one’s own existence.

     Augustine’s consistent referral to Deity as possessing supremely ontological status shows the influence of Plotinus’s teaching.[51] Although he rejected the idea that there could exist formless matter which was essentially and absolutely evil,[52] Augustine did conceive of evil in terms similar to Neo-Platonic thought; that as creatures fell away from contemplating God, the highest good, they themselves became, in a sense, less and less ‘real’.[53]

     It remains to evaluate Augustine’s ‘meontic’ conception of evil. It is specifically criticised as ‘unconvincing’ by Horton Davies.[54] Davies suggests that Augustine effectively abandoned it for the ‘more realistic’ Biblical view that ‘moral evil is the consequence of the perverse and corrupt human will rebelling against God.’[55] However, as we have seen, for Augustine the two ideas are compatible: moral evil is the result of turning away from God toward the self or some other lesser good, but he still maintains that evil is not, therefore, something that is.[56] John Hick criticises Augustine’s view of evil as privative on the grounds that it neither accounts for the positive suffering of what we would call ‘natural evil’, nor for the ‘dynamic malevolence’ of ‘corrupted will[s]’.[57] Theodore Platinga argues that Augustine distinguishes between evil as a metaphysical concept and as experienced existentially.[58] Because Augustine is led to conclude that nature is inherently good (and seems to go so far as to criticise the idea that there is ‘natural evil’), he makes the mistake, according to one critic, of ‘suggesting that [creation] is good because of rather than despite the bad things it contains.’[59] David Fergusson notes that the appeal by Augustine and other theologians to the Fall as the source of the positive effects of evil (whether moral or natural) is vitiated in part by our knowledge of the origin and history of life and the process of evolution, however useful it remains as ‘phenomenological description.’[60] Meanwhile, another author accepts the doctrine of evil as privation, but submits a modified idea of ‘precedent evil’ whose origin is a mystery to account for the fact that there is unjust, innocent suffering and mortality, for which both humans and God are innocent of its cause.[61] Others reject entirely the necessity of theodicy, citing it as doing more harm than good.[62]

     It is not necessary to posit Augustine’s theory of evil as ‘meontic’, deprivation, to be theodicy. Although, as we have seen, the problem of the origin of evil was what prompted Augustine to become a Manichee in the first place,[63] once he had realised that the Manichaean account of reality was incoherent, the definition of evil at which he arrived, influenced by the Neo-Platonists, the ontological deprivation of good (privatio boni), was not so much theodicy as ontology – although, of course, some concern for justifying God’s ways to humankind remained.

     I would argue that, despite criticisms that Augustine’s idea of evil as deprivation is unrealistic, such a conception of evil remains cogent. It may not be emotionally satisfying, but neither are other things which are evidently true. If we take it to be true that ‘God is love’,[64] then love, as a force, is powerful. When we obey something other than God, when we claim for ourselves as our ultimate source of meaning and truth something other than God, we are, in a way, claiming nothing to be that source of truth, for that is from what all created things (which is what everything that is not God is) were made. We are thus deprived of the ultimate good and, because we love wrongly, we inevitably love badly, even evilly. We perform evil acts against others because we are incapable of loving them as they ought to be loved, because we love the wrong things too much.[65] If love is as powerful as we claim it to be, why cannot disordered love (however mundane the idea seems) be powerful, be the source of human evil? I would argue that to attribute to acts of radical evil a ‘substance’ of their own is to invite a dualism in which there are, ultimately, some people who are irredeemable, worthy only of destruction; not only that, but which is ultimately hopeless, for it invites the possibility that God is powerless against evil, if it is (in a sense) a principle of equal ontological status. The effects of evil are real, for evil acts are committed by beings (who by definition have ontological reality) who love (the nature of which is proper to that which surpasses ontological reality; God), but who love wrongly.

     However, for such an account of evil to be acceptable, it needs, first, to account for ‘natural evil’, perhaps by means of the mysterious ‘precedent evil’ argued for by Thiel.[66] Second, it needs to state coherently (as I tried to do above) that alternative accounts of evil serve only to risk inviting evil (because of the potential for beings to be defined as irredeemably evil and hence worthy only of destruction) and despair (because they smuggle in the Manichaean evil principle which negates the possibility of salvation). Finally, a metaphysical account of evil as ontologically non-existent, at least a Christian one, must address the possibility of angelic beings which have fallen (as it would be tempting to use them to explain natural evil).[67] At any rate, I believe that it is possible for such an account (provided it is not used for theodicy) to be coherent and credible.



[1] Augustine, Confessions III.vii.12, trans. Henry Chadwick (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 43.

[2] Loc. cit. Italics mine.

[3] To my knowledge the term ‘meontic’ has been suggested by Gary Badcock in lectures; in my reading (thus far) I have seen no use of the term. It derives from Greek, ‘mh-onto"’, (‘not-being’).

[4] Confessions VII.ii.3, pp. 112-3; the remainder of the paragraph cites this passage.

[5] On Manichaeanism, see Hans Schwarz, Evil: A Historical and Theological Perspective, trans. Mark W. Worthing (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), pp. 97-101; cp. Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, rev. ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 2000), pp. 35-49.

[6] On which see, e.g., Brown, Augustine, pp. 69-92. Ambrose was congenial to Platonism, but its influence was deeper in Augustine; see p. 86.

[7] Confessions VII.ix.13-xvi.22, pp. 121-6; on which more later.

[8] Plotinus, Enneads, trans. A. H. Armstrong, Loeb Classical Library. Vol. 440 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966); the specific reference is to I.8.1-2, pp. 278-83.

[9] Op. cit., I.8.2, pp. 281-3. The Forms which are absolutely good are the Good, the Intellect, and Soul, in that order.

[10] Op. cit., I.8.3, p. 283.

[11] Op. cit., I.8.3, pp. 283-5. Some examples of the former include that the evil is ‘always undefined’, ‘insatiate’; of the latter, ‘perpetual neediness in relation to self-sufficiency’, ‘formlessness in relation to formative principle’.

[12] Op. cit., I.8.3, pp. 285-7. Such qualities include ‘shapes’ and ‘measures’.

[13] Op. cit., I.8.7, p. 299; see pp. 287-91 (I.8.4-5) for Plotinus’s discussion on how matter is evil.

[14] Op. cit., I.8.7, pp. 297-9; see also I.8.6, pp. 291-7.

[15] See op. cit., I.8.11-12, pp. 307-9. For most of the paragraph I shall draw from these two chapters.

[16] See, e.g., op. cit., II.9.16 (vol. 441), pp. 287-91. See also in the same volume II.9.3, pp. 233-5, and esp. II.9.7, p. 249, where Plotinus re-states that the universe is eternal: ‘[T]his universe did not begin and will not come to an end but exists always as long as the intelligible realities exist.’ See also II.9.8, pp. 251-5. Plotinus is arguing against the Gnostic position throughout II.9.

[17] Plotinus, op. cit., I.7.2, pp. 271-3.

[18] Augustine, Confessions VII.xii.18, p. 124.

[19] Loc. cit.

[20] Loc. cit.

[21] Op. cit., VII.xii.18, pp. 124-5. Augustine uses the language of creation in Genesis.

[22] Op. cit., VII.xvi.22, p. 126.

[23] Op. cit., VII.xiii.19-xiv.20, pp. 125-6.

[24] See op. cit. VII.v.7, pp. 115-6.

[25] See p. 4n23, above.

[26] Confessions, VII.xvi.22, p. 126; see VII.xvii.23-xx.26, pp. 127-30. The influence of the Platonic tradition is evident here, despite Augustine’s coming to a different conclusion than Plotinus about what evil is.

[27] Augustine, op. cit., III.vii.12, p. 43; Plotinus, op. cit., I.8.3, pp. 283-7.

[28] See Brown, Augustine, pp. 115-6; and the introduction to Augustine, On Order, trans. Silvano Borruso (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2007), p. vii.

[29] On Order I.7.17-18, pp. 23-5.

[30] Op. cit., II.7.23, p. 81.

[31] Loc. cit.: ‘aut semper fuit nihil quod dicitur malum’ (p. 80); italics mine.

[32] See G. R. Evans, Augustine on Evil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 91; there was another work referring to the problematic and even weak discussion of evil in On Order, but I cannot now find it. See also the translator’s introduction, On Order, p. xiv.

[33] Augustine, The City of God Against the Pagans XII.1, trans. & ed. R. W. Dyson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 499-500.

[34] Op. cit., XII.2, pp. 500-1 (italics editor’s); cp. XII.1, p. 500, where he writes, ‘Those creatures which are capable of being blessed... do not attain this blessedness by themselves, being created out of nothing [italics mine], but receive it from Him by Whom they were created.’

[35] Op. cit., XII.3, pp. 501-2.

[36] Op. cit., XII.3, p. 502.

[37] Op. cit., XII.4, pp. 502-3. By the ‘natural world’ I mean what Augustine describes as inanimate or non-rational or both.

[38] Op. cit., XII.5, p. 504.

[39] Op. cit., XII.6, p. 505.

[40] Loc. cit.

[41] Loc. cit.

[42] Op. cit., XII.6, p. 507; cp. pp. 506-7.

[43] Op. cit., XII.7, p. 508; cp. pp. 507-8. Note the Platonic influence of goodness being contemplating God as ontologically perfect, and evil as contemplating (cleaving to or being obedient to might be more apt) that which is not so.

[44] Op. cit., XIV.13, pp. 608-9. As an aside, earlier in Book XIV Augustine argues against ‘flesh’ as the source of evil (against, among others Manichaeans; see XIV.2, 3, pp. 581-6) and against Platonism that the soul is disturbed by passions arising from the body (XIV.5, pp. 588-90). His argument is to demonstrate that evil is not originally material in nature; rather, it is unnatural.

[45] Op. cit., XIV.13, p. 609.

[46] See op. cit., XIV.14, p. 611. Space prevents me from going into further detail on Augustine’s discussion of evil in Book XIV.

[47] Op. cit., XII.5, pp. 505-6; XII.8, pp. 508-9.

[48] Op. cit., XII.8, p. 508.

[49] Loc. cit.

[50] Op. cit., XII.6, p. 505.

[51] See, e.g., Diogenes Allen & Eric O. Springsted, Philosophy for Understanding Theology, 2nd ed. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), pp. 50-1, for a summary of the Neo-Platonic doctrine of ‘being by participation’ in the Forms. See also Robert Russell, ‘The Role of Neoplatonism in St. Augustine’s De Civitate Dei’, The City of God: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Dorothy F. Donnelly (New York: Peter Lang, 1995), pp. 403-13, for further information.

[52] See pp. 2-3, above.

[53] Augustine, The City of God XIV.13, p. 609.

[54] The Vigilant God: Providence in the Thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and Barth (New York: Peter Lang, 1992), p. 33.

[55] Loc. cit.

[56] See above, pp. 6-8.

[57] John Hick, Evil and the God of Love, rev. ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977), p. 56; cp. pp. 55-7, 58; see also pp. 38-53.

[58] Theodore Platinga, Learning to Live with Evil, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982. The idea that Augustine distinguishes between evil as ontologically privative but effectively positive is adopted by all three of the above-mentioned writers. However, cf. Joseph F. Kelly, who pays Augustine’s ‘meontic’ theory of evil little attention, except to state that Augustine held a modified view of it throughout his life, but criticises the legacy of Augustine’s doctrines of original sin and predestination; The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2002), p. 53; see pp. 51-61.

[59] Gerald J. Hughes, Is God to Blame?: The Problem of Evil Revisited (Dublin: Veritas, 2007), p. 24; cp. pp. 19-25. Here Augustine’s ‘aesthetic’ conception of evil is what is mainly under attack, but it seems to me to be of one piece with his ‘meontic’ theory of evil. See also Davies, The Vigilant God, pp. 33-4; Hick, Evil and the God of Love, pp. 82-9, where some of the larger problems of Augustine’s ‘aesthetic’ approach to evil are addressed (and see also pp. 70-82).

[60] David A. S. Fergusson, The Cosmos and the Creator: An Introduction to the Theology of Creation (London: SPCK, 1998), p. 79; and see pp. 77-9; 46-76; see also John Polkinghorne, Reason and Reality: The Relationship Between Science and Theology (London: SPCK, 1991), pp. 99-104. Although the Fall for Augustine applies mainly to his doctrine of original sin, we have seen that it has a place in his ‘meontic’ theory of evil; see p. 7 above.

[61] John E. Thiel, God, Evil, and Innocent Suffering: A Theological Reflection (New York: Crossroad, 2002), pp. 97-8; 127-9; 133-4; see also pp. 18-20 where Thiel criticises Augustine’s view that even children do not suffer unjustly.

[62] John Swinton accepts Augustine’s metaphysical account of evil and the essential goodness of creation, but rightly points out that using it or the doctrine of original sin in theodicy create unbearable tensions; see Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), pp. 22-3. Although Augustine is recognised not to have so used the theory of ‘meontic’ evil, he does make ‘theodical’ claims which are problematic; op. cit., pp. 24-6. Swinton claims to use the idea of evil as privation in his definition of it, but it seems to be implicit and is not explicitly raised; see pp. 52-61. Cp. Kenneth Surin, Theology and the Problem of Evil, Signposts in Theology (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), pp. 10-15. Terrence W. Tilley argues that there is no ‘Augustinian theodicy’ (it is an artificial amalgam of Augustine’s various statements), using the Enchiridon to demonstrate; see The Evils of Theodicy (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1991), pp. 113-7, 118-24.

[63] Above, p. 1.

[64] 1 Jn. 4.8; cp. Jn. 3.16.

[65] See, e.g., David K. Naugle, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), pp. 48-52; on pp. 59-86 Naugle describes what he considers the consequences of disordered love.

[66] See p. 10n61, above.

[67] Augustine, as we have seen, certainly argues for wicked angels and accepts Satan’s role as tempter of Adam and Eve, although for him Adam and Eve’s will had to have already been evil for them to succumb to Satan’s temptations; see p. 7, above. See also Vernon R. Mallow, The Demonic: A Selected Theological Study: An Examination into the Theology of Edwin Lewis, Karl Barth, and Paul Tillich (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1983), pp. 151ff. Mallow argues for the existence of demonic beings and their role in the corruption of creation.



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