Gratuitous Evil and Divine Providence
I'm really happy right now because a paper of mine ("Gratuitous Evil and Divine Providence") was just accepted at Religious Studies. In my experience, at least, the turnaround at that journal is phenomenally fast. This is the second paper I've submitted there. On both I received an acceptance notice within a week or less.
I'll post a digital version of the paper to my website once I've sent the final version off to the journal. Here's the abstract:
Discussions of the evidential argument from evil generally pay little attention to how different models of divine providence constrain the theist’s options for response. After describing four models of providence and discussing theistic strategies for responding to the evidential argument, I articulate and defend a definition of “gratuitous evil” that renders the theological premise of the argument uncontroversial for theists. This forces theists to focus their fire on the evidential premise, enabling us to compare models of providence with respect to how plausibly they can resist it. I then give an assessment of the four models, concluding that theists are better off vis-à-vis the evidential argument if they reject meticulous providence.UPDATE (7/20/09): The penultimate draft of the paper is now available on my website.