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Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

Overview

Only the most naive or tendentious among us would deny the extent and intensity of suffering in the world. Can one hold, consistently with the common view of suffering in the world, that there is an omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good God? This book argues that one can.

Wandering in Darkness first presents the moral psychology and value theory within which one typical traditional theodicy, namely, that of Thomas Aquinas, is embedded. It explicates Aquinas's account of the ...

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Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

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Overview

Only the most naive or tendentious among us would deny the extent and intensity of suffering in the world. Can one hold, consistently with the common view of suffering in the world, that there is an omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good God? This book argues that one can.

Wandering in Darkness first presents the moral psychology and value theory within which one typical traditional theodicy, namely, that of Thomas Aquinas, is embedded. It explicates Aquinas's account of the good for human beings, including the nature of love and union among persons. Eleonore Stump also makes use of developments in neurobiology and developmental psychology to illuminate the nature of such union.
Stump then turns to an examination of narratives. In a methodological section focused on epistemological issues, the book uses recent research involving autism spectrum disorder to argue that some philosophical problems are best considered in the context of narratives. Using the methodology argued for, the book gives detailed, innovative exegeses of the stories of Job, Samson, Abraham and Isaac, and Mary of Bethany.
In the context of these stories and against the backdrop of Aquinas's other views, Stump presents Aquinas's own theodicy, and shows that Aquinas's theodicy gives a powerful explanation for God's allowing suffering. She concludes by arguing that this explanation constitutes a consistent and cogent defense for the problem of suffering.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199659302
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2012
  • Pages: 688
  • Sales rank: 699,372
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eleonore Stump is The Robert J. Henle, SJ, Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. She received a Ph.D. in medieval studies and medieval philosophy from Cornell University in 1975.

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Table of Contents

Incipit
Part I: The Nature of the Project
1. Suffering, Theodicy, and Defense
2. Philosophy and Narrative
3. Narrative as a Means of Knowledge: Francis and Dominic
4. Narrative and the Knowledge of Persons
Part II: The World at Large: Love and Loneliness
5. The Nature of Love
6. Union, Presence, and Omnipresence
7. Willed Loneliness
8. Other-worldly Redemption
Part III: The World of the Stories: Suffering in Particular
9. The Story of Job: Suffering and the Second-personal
10. The Story of Samson: Self-Destroying Evil
11. The Story of Abraham: The Desires of the Heart
12. The Story of Mary of Bethany: Heartbrokenness and Shame
Part IV: Other-worldly Theodicy: What We Care About in a Defense
13. Theodicy in Another World
14. What We Care About: the Desires of the Heart
15. The Defense of the Defense: Suffering, Flourishing, and the Desires of the Heart
Desinit

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