United Hebrew Congregation, 13788 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63141 | 314-469-0700

Scholar-in-Residence: Dr. Steven Nadler

December 10, 2016 - December 11, 2016, 12:30 pm - 10:45 am

“The Problem of Evil in Jewish Thought”

For millenia Jewish thinkers have wrestled with the problem of evil:  Why is God’s creation so imperfect? Why is there sin and suffering in a world created by an all-powerful, all-knowing, wise, just and good God? Why do bad things happen to good people and good things to bad people? In the first lecture, we will consider the philosophical and theological dimensions of this problem as it first arises in ancient Jewish literature—especially the Book of Job–and look at how various Jewish philosophers—Philo of Alexandria, Saadya ben Joseph, and Maimonides–strove to resolve the conundrum. In the second lecture, we will look more closely at the details of Maimonides’ “theodicy” (or defense of God’s justice) and its logical culmination in the radical ideas of Spinoza.

Saturday, December 10
12:30 p.m. Lunch & Learn

7:30 p.m.  Dessert Reception and Discussion with Dr. Nadler

Sunday, December 11
9:15—10:40 a.m. Maimonides—Exploring the concept of evil
*Note this is a different time than was previously published.

RSVP’s are requested to April Hickman at 314-434-3404


Steven Nadler (Ph.D., Philosophy, Columbia University, 1986) is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy and Evjue-Bascom Professor in Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been teaching since 1988. He is also a faculty member of the university’s Mosse/Weinstein Center for  Jewish Studies and the editor of the Journal of the History of   Philosophy.