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In A Theodicy of Hell Charles Seymour tackles one of the most difficult problems facing the western theistic tradition: to show the consonance between eternal punishment and the goodness of God. Medieval theology attempted to resolve the dilemma by arguing that any sin, no matter how slight, merits unending torment. Contemporary thinkers, on the other hand, tend to eliminate the retributive element from hell entirely. Combining historical breadth with detailed argumentation, the author develops a novel understanding of hell which avoids the extremes of both its traditional and modern rivals. He then surveys the battery of objections ranged against the possibility of eternal punishment and shows how his `freedom view of hell' can withstand the attack. The work will be of particular importance for those interested in philosophy of religion and theology, including academics, students, seminarians, clergy, and anyone else with a personal desire to come to terms with this perennially challenging doctrine.
1. Introduction. 2. A Brief History of Hell. 3. The Argument From Justice. 4. Arguments From Divine Love. 5. Arguments From Human Choice. 6. The Freedom View Compared With Rival Versions. 7. Theodicy and Theology. Works Cited. Index.