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Where Human and Divine Intimacy Meet: an Insight into the Theodicy of Marilyn McCord Adams


Marilyn McCord Adams’s perspective on the intimacy with God as a way of defeating horrendous evils in the course of a human being’s existence has been met with a series of objections in contemporary scholarship. This is due to the fact that the critiques formulated have focused more on the debilitating impact of suffering on the sufferer’s body and mind, on intimacy as mere intermittent relationships between God and humans, or on what is lost or gained from the presence or absence of this intimacy with the divine being. Focusing on Adams’s appeal to esthetic arguments in theodicy and on her reflection on practical issues in theology, the article presents Adams’s perspective on intimacy as a relation initiated objectively by God at the creation and at Christ’s incarnation and continued subjectively throughout history by both God and every human being. Given its combining of objective and subjective features, this kind of intimacy is not to be understood as an exclusively private relationship of each individual with God, but rather as a process of communal advancing in rehabilitation and mutual healing that is initiated in the antemortem career and fulfilled in the post-mortem existence.

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Correspondence to Ionut Untea.

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Untea, I. Where Human and Divine Intimacy Meet: an Insight into the Theodicy of Marilyn McCord Adams. SOPHIA 59, 525–547 (2020).

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  • Theodicy
  • Esthetics
  • Intimacy
  • Vantage point
  • Antemortem career
  • Post-mortem existence