This essay grapples with the question of theodicy as represented by the Ante-Nicene writers Lactantius and the writer of the Pseudo-Clementine literature. Bussell’s dialogue with these sources points to the role human responsibility plays in the origin of evil.
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Beginning with the difficult question of the nature of God as creator and judge, Bussell moves toward the classic question of theodicy: how does the creator and judge accord with the origin of evil? To address this question he introduces the Ante-Nicene writers Lactantius and the author of the Pseudo-Clementine literature. Entering into dialogue with these ancient authors, particularly the Clementine homilies, he points out that these ancient authorities tend toward the explanation that human responsibility must be brought to bear on this issue.
Frederick William Bussell (1862-1944) was a Fellow of Brasenose College Oxford. His research interest was the history of religious and philosophical ideas.