John Hick has died (20 January 1922 – 9 February 2012). For those unfamiliar with his work, influence, and reputation, Hick was a philosopher of religion and liberal theologian, a prolific and compelling author, who will unarguably go down in the history books as one of if not the most influential philosophers of religion in the twentieth century. He will be remembered, on the one hand, for his contribution to theodicy (the study of God and evil), and, on the other hand, his contribution to religious pluralism (general acceptance of a variety of religions).
I studied John Hick’s work at length with Professor Steve Horst for an independent study on theodicy while I was an undergraduate student of Philosophy and Religion at Indiana Wesleyan University. After that study I reached a similar conclusion as Gavin D’Costa (who was an undergraduate pupil of John Hick), who recently wrote Remembering John Hick in the May 2012 publication of First Things:
Even if we disagree with his answers, he pushed Christians to look at the difficult questions as he provided answers that compel and challenge. For that we should be deeply grateful to him.
Also, John Hick released an autobiography in 2005. I highly recommend it; those who read it will witness, in Hick’s own phrasing, his intellectual and emotive drift into liberalism from the moorings of Christianity.