the·​od·​i·​cy | \ thē-ˈä-də-sē How to pronounce theodicy (audio) \
plural theodicies

Definition of theodicy

: defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil

Examples of theodicy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Put it all together and we're left with a story of moral progress on multiple dimensions that serves as a kind of theodicy for most left-leaning Americans, and even for many on the center right. Damon Linker, The Week, 10 Aug. 2021 Each, in its way, engages with questions of theodicy. Wyatt Mason, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021 But over the decades his writings have retained enduring relevance among students and scholars wrestling with the question of theodicy, or how a god who is good could coexist with a world in which evil often prevails. Washington Post, 9 June 2021 That paradox—Why would a benevolent God create evil and permit suffering?—the question of theodicy, triggered my own crisis of faith. Cyrena Touros, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Mar. 2021 Seeing her construct her own theodicy from the simple process of observing and reasoning is like watching the passage of two thousand years over a few months. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2021 By Annie Dillard Published in 1974, Dillard’s diary of a year spent by Tinker Creek, which runs near Roanoke, Va., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, combines close observation with a philosophical inquiry about theodicy. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2020 He’s written an odd little book, a hodgepodge of music criticism, theodicy, biography, exegesis, meditations on fatherhood, and musings on his own prison ministry. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 9 Feb. 2020 That mystery, rather too peremptorily stated in this story, is familiar in Trevor’s work, much of which could be read as problems in theodicy. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theodicy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of theodicy

1797, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for theodicy

modification of French théodicée, from théo- the- (from Latin theo-) + Greek dikē judgment, right — more at diction

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The first known use of theodicy was in 1797

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Last Updated

3 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Theodicy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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