1st Edition

Suffering Religion

Edited By Robert Gibbs, Elliot R. Wolfson Copyright 2002

    In a diverse and innovative selection of new essays by cutting-edge theologians and philosophers, Suffering Religion examines one of the most primitive but challenging questions to define human experience - why do we suffer? As a theme uniting very different religious and cultural traditions, the problem of suffering addresses issues of passivity, the vulnerability of embodiment, the generosity of love and the complexity of gendered desire. Interdisciplinary studies bring different kinds of interpretations to meet and enrich each other. Can the notion of goodness retain meaning in the face of real affliction, or is pain itself in conflict with meaning?
    Themes covered include:
    *philosophy's own failure to treat suffering seriously, with special reference to the Jewish tradition
    *Martin Buber's celebrated interpretations of scriptural suffering
    *suffering in Kristevan psychoanalysis, focusing on the Christian theology of the cross
    *the pain of childbirth in a home setting as a religiously significant choice
    *Gods primal suffering in the kabbalistic tradition
    *Incarnation as a gracious willingness to suffer.

    Introduction, Robert Gibbs and Elliot R. Wolfson; 1. Robert Gibbs, Unjustifiable Suffering; 2. Steven Kepnes, Re-reading job as Textual Theodicy; 3. Cleo McNelly Kaerns, Suffering in Theory; 4. Pamela E. Klassen, The Scandal of Pain in Childbirth; 5. Elliot R. Wolfson, Divine Suffering and the Hermeneutics of Reading: Philosophical Reflections on Lurianic Mythology; 6. Graham Ward, Suffering and Incarnation; Epilogue: theology and Religious Studies


    Robert Gibbs, Elliot R. Wolfson