Joji Watanabe

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Dr. H. Byron Earhart

Second Advisor

Dr. E. Thomas Lawson

Third Advisor

Dr. David Ede

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The study of religion explicates fascinating aspects of human history. From the past through the present to future times, in every area of human history a person's religious views provide his or her specific world view: How to consider the meaning of life or world. In a sense, suffering has come up as one of major problems in religion. This is because how a group of people finds release from suffering explains the specific aspect of each religious tradition.

With the above as a basis, theodicy was set not as God's justice in the Judeo-Christian tradition but as a broad term in order to examine a concept of suffering within all religious traditions. The discussion of theodicy followed from Buddhist basic concept through Mahayana Buddhism and Chinese Ch'an Buddhism to Dogen. Each specific case above was examined to show that how each of them dealt with theodicy. The agenda of discussion was how humans manage suffering. Explicating theodicy is shown not only as a Judeo-Christian consideration but also as a universal problem of human life.