When Bad Things Happen to Good People

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People
When Bad Things Happen To Good People.jpg
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
ISBN 1-4000-3472-8
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 1981 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.


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. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b John Frame (1994). Apologetics to the Glory of God. p. 157. ISBN 0-87552-243-2. 
  3. ^ Rabbi Y. Kirzner, Making Sense of Suffering ISBN 1-57819-757-0.

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