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The Problem of Hell - Jonathan L. Kvanvig

Hardcover Published: 1st October 1993
ISBN: 9780195084870
Number Of Pages: 192

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The doctrine of hell presents the most intractable version of the problem of evil, for though it might be argued that ordinary pain and evil can somehow be compensated for by the course of future experience, the pain and suffering of hell leads nowhere. This work develops an understanding of hell that is common to a broad variety of religious perspectives, and argues that the usual understandings of hell are incapable of solving the problem of hell. Kvanvig first argues that the traditional understanding of hell found in Christianity suffers from moral and epistemological inadequacies. Historically, these shortcomings lead to alternatives to the traditional doctrine of hell, such as universalism, annihilationism, or the second chance doctrine. Kvanvig shows, however, that the typical alternatives to the traditional understanding are inadequate as well. He argues that both the traditional understanding and the typical alternatives fail to solve the problem of hell because they share the common flaw of being constructed on a retributive model of hell. Kvanvig then develops a philosophical account of hell which does not depend on a retributive model and argues that it is adequate on both philosophical and theological grounds.

"The book, rich in argument and thought-provoking, is highly recommended for all those with an interest in soteriology and eschatology."The Month "We are offered an impressive case for the coherence of a revised doctrine of hell....I hope...that our readers will grapple with this subtle and widely ranging discussion, which is far richer than my terse summary can reveal."--The Expository Times "Those who are not squeamish will find much worth thinking about in this tough-minded and toughly-argued book."--Theology "Kvanvig's own theory deserves careful consideration....If a philosophical analysis is called for, this is the book to read. It brings us a long way into an intelligent, scripturally respectful, and theologically acceptable discussion of a belief that has traditionally been a forest of contradictions. Kvanvig's book may be the best path through the forest yet."--Christianity and Literature "Kvanvig's solution to the problem of hell in ingenious. It should be of interest to any philosopher who wants to explore alternatives to the morally problematic doctrine of hell in traditional Christianity."--Ethics "The book, rich in argument and thought-provoking, is highly recommended for all those with an interest in soteriology and eschatology."The Month "We are offered an impressive case for the coherence of a revised doctrine of hell....I hope...that our readers will grapple with this subtle and widely ranging discussion, which is far richer than my terse summary can reveal."--The Expository Times "Those who are not squeamish will find much worth thinking about in this tough-minded and toughly-argued book."--Theology "Kvanvig's own theory deserves careful consideration....If a philosophical analysis is called for, this is the book to read. It brings us a long way into an intelligent, scripturally respectful, and theologically acceptable discussion of a belief that has traditionally been a forest of contradictions. Kvanvig's book may be the best path through the forest yet."--Christianity and Literature "Kvanvig's solution to the problem of hell in ingenious. It should be of interest to any philosopher who wants to explore alternatives to the morally problematic doctrine of hell in traditional Christianity."--Ethics "Jonathan Kvanvig's The Problem of Hell is a thoughtful, theologically sensitive and philosophically daring attempt to save the doctrine of hell from some of its most damning critics...tough-minded, clearly written, imaginative and thought-provoking."--The Philosophical Review "[Kwanvig] argues convincingly and cogently for his position. Highly recommended as a thoughtful, systematic treatment of the doctrine of hell."--Southwestern Journal of Theology "The book is a well argued, timely contribution to the theological turn of recent philosophy of religion. Kvanvig's ideas surely will provide the springboard to future discussions of the doctrine of hell and divine punishment."--International Studies in Philosophy

Introductionp. 3
The Strong View of Hellp. 25
The Moral Objection to the Equal Punishment Version of the Strong Viewp. 27
The Arbitrariness Problemp. 55
Other Versions of the Strong Viewp. 60
Conclusionp. 63
Simple Alternatives to the Strong Viewp. 67
On Abandoning the Existence Thesisp. 68
On Abandoning the No Escape Thesisp. 71
On Abandoning the Anti-Universalism Thesisp. 73
On Abandoning the Retribution Thesisp. 97
Conclusionp. 103
The Issuant Conception of Hellp. 107
The Nature of Godp. 112
The God of Love and the Nature of Hellp. 119
Conclusionp. 130
Freedom, Existence, and the Nature of Hellp. 135
Incarcerationp. 138
Suicide and the Argument from Rational Suicidep. 139
Mechanical and Teleological Conceptions of Hellp. 148
The Composite View and Theological Constraintsp. 151
Conclusionp. 158
A Global Perspective on the Problem of Hellp. 163
Bibliographyp. 173
Indexp. 177
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195084870
ISBN-10: 019508487X
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st October 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.84 x 14.38  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.89