80.23 Need for Unified Formulation (pps.55-56)
hard cover page 55
Having come this far, one is impelled by the prior inquiry and by the implications of the core theodicy to further develop the overarching philosophical structure. The Quest for Potential core theodicy will be clarified and elaborated as part of the nine-section (100-900) Unified Formulation.
The Unified Formulation also handles several other crucial theological and philosophical questions, in an attempt to provide a comprehensive and cohesive framework.
How does this quest for potential relate to the origins of man,
God, and the universe? From whence (infinite) God?
Why can there not be a world of bliss and full freedom
Why are potential and freedom so crucial?
Why is there evil at all if God is omnipotent?
To address these questions and other, related ones, we must begin at the dawn of the universe.193 We must go beyond a mere theodicy, however relatively safe and elegant, towards a unified and comprehensive theodicyltheology. Therefore, instead of starting with the goal and working backwards, we must commence at “the beginnings of the beginning” and proceed onwards.194 Thus while we are entering a far riskier arena, we are certainly playing for far larger stakes.
One may view the theological problem of evil, not as a weak link in Jewish theology, but rather as a major direction-finder for Jewish theology/philosophy. The process of conceptualizing a satisfying theodicy leads to the correct formulation of the broader theological framework. 195
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193 See Glatzer, The Dimensions of Job, p. 73. “As in Jonah, the ultimate secret is seen to lie in the fact of creation.”
194 Indeed, in the Jobian finale, when God challenges Job’s remonstra tions, God challenges Job on his comprehension of cosmic origins. This is elaborated on later in the text.
195 See Luban, “The Kaddish,” p. 209. “Judaism does not frown on man’s anxiety over evil. On the contrary it encourages man to be aware of his exitential dilemma, and to use his powers as a creative ethical fulcrum.”
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