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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

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Title: When Bad Things Happen to Good People  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Harold Kushner, Theodicy, Mordecai Waxman, Religious studies books, 1978 books
Collection: 1978 Books, Religious Studies Books, Theodicy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

When Bad Things Happen to Good People
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Author Harold Kushner
Country United States
Language English
Subject Theism
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Random House Inc
Publication date
Pages 176 pp
OCLC 56349149
Followed by To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking

When Bad Things Happen to Good People (ISBN 1-4000-3472-8) is a 1978 book by Harold Kushner, a Conservative rabbi. Kushner addresses in the book one of the principal problems of theodicy, the conundrum of why, if the universe was created and is governed by a God who is of a good and loving nature, there is nonetheless so much suffering and pain in it - essentially, the evidential problem of evil.

The book is dedicated to the memory of his young son, Aaron, who died at the age of 14 in 1977 of the incurable genetic disease progeria.[1] Rabbi Kushner's book was a New York Times bestseller for many months in the "nonfiction" category.


  • Thesis 1
  • Recognition 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Kushner seeks to offer comfort to grieving people. His answer to the philosophical problem is that God does his best and is with people in their suffering, but is not fully able to prevent it.[2]

Kushner’s beliefs, which seem to question God’s omnipotence, have been criticized by some conservative scholars associated with Orthodox Judaism[3] as well as evangelical Christianity.[2]



  1. ^ [2]
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Rabbi Y. Kirzner, Making Sense of Suffering ISBN 1-57819-757-0.

External links

  • "When bad things happen to good people" - 2001 edition with a new preface

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