Dr. Mark Scott

Dr. Mark Scott

Professor Emeritus Religious Studies

Contact Information

Thorneloe University at Laurentian
935 Ramsey Lake Rd
Sudbury ON P3E 2C6
705.673.1730, 403

Dr. Mark S. M. Scott, formerly Associate Professor and now Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Thorneloe University, received his Ph.D. and A.M. (Religious Studies) from Harvard University, his M.A.R. (Theology) from Yale Divinity School, and his B.A. (Honours) in Religious Studies from McMaster University. He has published two monographs: Pathways in Theodicy: An Introduction to the Problem of Evil (Fortress, 2015) and Journey Back to God: Origen on the Problem of Evil (OUP, 2012 [paperback: 2015]). His articles and essays have appeared in numerous scholarly venues, including Harvard Theological Review, Journal of Early Christian Studies, Religious Studies, Open Theology, and elsewhere. His research interests include theology, philosophy of religion, early Christianity, and religion and literature.


  • Ph.D., A.M., Harvard University
  • M.A.R., Yale Divinity School
  • B.A., McMaster University

Research interests

  • Early Christianity
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Religion and literature
  • Religion and culture
  • Theology

Courses Taught at Thorneloe University at Laurentian

  • RLST 1116 – Ideas of Love I
  • RLST 1117 – Ideas of Love II
  • RLST 2136 – Christian Thought & Culture I
  • RLST 2137 – Christian Thought & Culture II
  • RLST 2166 – The Problem of Evil
  • RLST 3286 – C.S. Lewis and the Religious Imagination
  • RLST 3386 – Faith & Atheism
  • RLST 4345 – Special Readings
  • HUMA 5457 – Text and Belief

Courses Taught Elsewhere

  • World Religions
  • Augustine/Augustine and Culture Seminar
  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Early Christianity/Medieval Christianity
  • History of Christianity: The First Millennium
  • History of Christianity: 1500-Present
  • Theology in Film
  • Understanding Jesus
  • Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • Philosophical Foundations of Theology
  • Introduction to Theology: Faith, Reason, and Culture


Articles and Essays (selection)


“The Oxford Inklings for a New Generation,”
“C. S. Lewis and the Gift of Failure,”
Invited Lectures: Campus Inklings and OCRCC
September 23-24, 2019
University of Ottawa

“Befriending Job: Theodicy amid the Ashes,”
Conference: Compassion and Theodicy: Practice, Thought, & Tradition
July 20, 2019
Oxford University

“Faith and Doubt in Gilead: Beyond Spiritual Dichotomies,”
Conference: “The Problem with God: Christianity and Literature in Tension”
March 2019
Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA


“The Principle of Cooperation in a Polarized Age–A Response to Sarah Coakley’s ‘Is there a Future for Natural Theology?'”,
Interface: A Lecture Series in Science and Theology
October 2018
Regent College, Vancouver BC


“Beauty from Ashes: Aesthetic Transformations of Suffering in Gilead,”
CSSR Panel: Contemporary Approaches to Suffering, Evil, and Theodicy
May 2017
Ryerson University


“Origen’s Theological Story about God and Evil: A Platonist or Christian Theodicy?” at the International Workshop on Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity
December 2016, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas
University of Oslo, Norway

Origen” Seminar Leader at The Fr. Robert Crouse Seminar: An Annual Study Seminar for Clergy
May 2016, St. Thomas’ Anglican Church, Huron St
Toronto, Ontario


“Divine Presence and Absence in a World of Woe: The Problem of Evil in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life,” Conference Paper
June 2015, Protestantism on Screen: Religion, Politics, and Aesthetics in European and American Movies
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, LEUCOREA
Wittenburg, Germany


“Augustine and Autobiography: Confessions as a Roadmap for Self-Reflection,” Paper
Oct 2014, Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Augustine Across the Curriculum
Samford University


“C. S. Lewis and John Hick: An Interface on Theodicy,” Conference Paper
September 2013, Christian Faith and the University
McGill University


“Origen of Alexandria: The Patron Saint of Universalism?,” Conference Paper
November, 2012, Theology and Religious Reflection
American Academy of Religion, Chicago


“Tensions and Turmoil in Medieval and Reformation Christianity,” Invited Lecture
April 2011, World Religions, Extension School
Harvard University


Keynote Address
“Theodicy and Natural Disasters,”
The Florida Center for Science and Religion
Florida Southern College, April 06, 2010


“The Patristic Sources of John Hick’s Soul-Making Theodicy,” Conference Paper
May 2009, Canadian Society of Patristic Studies
Carleton University


“Origen the Christian or Origen the Platonist?” Conference Paper
April 2008, Graduate Student Conference in Patristic Studies
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology


“The Wisdom of Silence: Job and the Mystery of Evil,” Conference Paper
May 2007, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (Founders Prize Essay)
University of Saskatchewan


“Shades of Grace: Origen and Gregory of Nyssa’s Soteriological Exegesis of Song of Songs 1:5”
May 2005, Canadian Society of Patristic Studies (Essay Prize Winner)
University of Western Ontario

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