The well-being of a person was viewed by the Byzantines as a complex interplay of divine providence, guiding a person throughout his life to salvation, and his will, freely choosing between virtue and sin. Several solutions were given to the problem of misfortunes which might befall a person, since they could not result from the actions of a good God: from ultimate non-involvement of God into the voluntary actions of humans, to pedagogical temporary “stepping aside” by God to demonstrate the futility of human actions which go against the best predestined course of life, to active divine intervention as “bitter medicine” for the correction of human wrongdoings and putting an end to uncorrected sin. These problems are discussed in the treatise On the Predestined Terms of Life by Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople and in the Dialogue against the Manichees by John of Damascus, who thoroughly adapted and reworked the Homily That God Is Not the Author of Evil by Basil of Caesarea for the discussion of theodicy.
- Basil of Caesarea
- Free will
- John of Damascus
- Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople
- Theophylact Simocatta