School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


David J. Baggett


Ethics, Evil, Perichoresis, Theism, Theodicy, Trinity


Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Other Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


There is perhaps no problem confronting Christian theism more than that of the problem from evil. Evil in the world is not merely a problem for the Christian worldview, however, but also for various other metaphysical systems. This project takes up a comparative analysis of four major worldviews—naturalism, pantheism, process panentheism, and theism—and argues that of the four, theism provides not only the best explanation for the phenomena of evil in the world but it also gives an overall thicker worldview response to the challenges that evil presents. But theism in-and-of-itself is not enough. A specific form of theism is needed—a form of theism that is grounded in the perichoretic relationship of the divine Trinity—that accounts for both God’s aseity and His being essentially loving. Having compared each of the four worldviews and having argued for the need of a Trinitarian concept of God, this project then takes up the challenge of providing a uniquely Christian theodicy, which I have dubbed the Trinitarian Perichoretic Theodicy (TPT). TPT offers a way forward in answering not only the theological/philosophical issues related to the problem from evil but it also provides a framework for responding to those sufferers who have been affected by the presence of evil in the world.