Bibliography: The Problem of Evil


I maintain a bibliography of work on the problem of evil. I have shared it in a couple of other places and thought I’d share it here too. Here’s a link to the Google Doc.

The bibliography focuses on academic work on the problem of evil in contemporary analytic philosophy. It is still in progress, and probably always will be. I am happy to receive suggestions about work that should be added. I have included journal articles, books, and book chapters, but – as of now – not book reviews, and not unpublished work. 

With only a few exceptions, I have not included work published prior to the 1950s, work in the continental tradition, work in non-philosophical theology and other disciplines outside of philosophy, and non-academic work. I omit this work, not because it isn’t valuable, but because my primary area of interest is in contemporary analytic philosophy, and limiting the project’s scope to my primary area of interest has kept it manageable. 

For the most part, I have not included work on topics related to, but arguably distinct from, the problem of evil, such as hell and soteriological exclusivism, divine hiddenness (though see Section 2.8), biblical atrocities, sin and original sin, the axiology of theism, the “evil god challenge” to natural theology, and divine freedom to make less-than-best worlds (though see Section 3.3.2).  

Entries are sorted into categories and often repeated when they fall under more than one category. But for the most part I list an article under a particular heading only when the main focus of the article seems to justify listing it there, and not if the article merely touches on, or is somewhat relevant to, the topic in question. 

I do not have access to all of the work I have cataloged here, nor have I read everything I have access to, so in many cases the classification of a work is based on limited information about its content (e.g., an abstract, extract, title, or a brief skim). For that reason, some of the works may be miscategorized. I welcome feedback about this. 

I have used footnotes to indicate when one article is replying to another, to highlight connections between related sections of the bibliography, and sometimes to clarify what an article is about or why it has been listed in a particular section. For another extensive bibliography on the problem of evil, see Whitney, Barry L. (1998). Theodicy: An Annotated Bibliography on the Problem of Evil, 1960-1991. Bowling Green State University, Philosophy Documentation Center. (First edition published in 1993.) Thanks to Klaas Kraay for bringing my attention to this book. Thanks also to the many others who have suggested additions to this bibliography.

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