This was the second most copied book during the Middle Ages, after the Bible.
Partly due to its twiggy size, but beyond that, there is something to what Boethius writes. C. S. Lewis forwarded this book to me in the Twenty-seventh Screwtape Letter, in the context of a discussion about evil in the world and God's Omnipotence. Seems like we are still having the same argument a thousand years later. Nihil Novi Sub Sola-there is nothing new under the sun!
In this allegory, the half-pagan, half-Christian Boethius discusses with Wisdom personified why he is imprisoned unjustly, and to a broader extent, how an all powerful, all loving God lets evil happen to humans. Tangential to this is a discussion of freedom of the will and God's omniscience.
The genius of this book, therefor, is to be able to slim-down the discussion into five smaller parts, and then to say something substantive on the issue. The last phase it to be correct with what you say, and that is the rub!
Though I am not part of this religious tradition, I think Boethius came up with a good explanation, but I am not sure if it true or not. The stork explains where babies come from, but it is not correct. But that does not make this book any worse for reading or for enjoyment or food for thought. Besides, you have to admire his effort in tackling this tough issue. Personally, I agree with Ezra Taft Benson who said at some point everyone is backed up to the wall of faith and there we must take our stand.
Yes faith can, is, and will be abused by the evil; and no, I don't think faith is crutch-- any more than I believe that doubt is a crutch to the skeptic. But this book is a tale of a struggle of one man's faith in the face of a bludgeoning club. Indeed, prison literature, such as the Rev.