Judaism, Reincarnation, and Theodicy

Faith and Philosophy 30 (4):393-417 (2013)
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The doctrine of reincarnation is usually associated with Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions. But it has also been developed in Druzism and Judaism. The doctrine has been used by these traditions to explain the existence of evil within a moral order. Traversing the boundaries between East and West, we explore how Jewish mysticism has employed the doctrine to help answer the problem of evil. We explore the doctrine particularly as we respond to objections against employing it in a theodicy. We show how it supplements traditional punishment, free will and soul-building theodicies, and helps these theodicies avoid various objections
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