Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


In this thesis, I plan to present a framework of four theodicies which organizes various responses to and attempted explanations of the suffering experienced during Hurricane Katrina; to examine several post-Katrina sermons in which pastors and priests address suffering within each theological framework; and to discuss the important leadership implications that the ideas expressed on the pulpit carry for how citizens understand the rebuilding of New Orleans. Although the city is home to citizens from a diversity of faith traditions including Judaism and Islam, this thesis will focus on responses expressed within Christian contexts. In the following pages, I will use a theological framework to show how these ideas expressed within sermons can affect participation in public life, or more specifically, how various conceptions of theodicy have shaped responses to suffering and to the rebuilding of New Orleans.