Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, MA

First Advisor

Ante Jeroncic

Second Advisor

Martin Hanna

Third Advisor

Cedric Vine


The Problem

Drawing upon Emmanuel Levinas’s Judaic, philosophical, and experiential influences, Levinas formulates an “ethics of the Other” as a response to the quandary of suffering and evil, presenting it as an alternative to theodicy.

The Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore Levinas’s philosophy by examining his response to the criticisms levied against theodicy, while also investigating the potential coexistence of his philosophy with theodicy and the warrant for such a critique, as well as the claim that an “ethics of the Other” can function as a legitimate replacement for theodicy.


This thesis argues that while Levinas’s ethics present a viable alternative to traditional theodicy, there exists the potential for a symbiotic relationship between ethics and theodicy. By highlighting the ongoing relevance of theodicy, particularly through the concept of the suffering God, Levinas’s philosophy offers a nuanced perspective on addressing the problem of evil post-Holocaust, contributing significantly to philosophical and theological discourse.

Subject Area

Christian ethics; Theodicy; Levinas, Emmanuel