The Mystery of God and Suffering: Lament, Trust, and Awe

The Mystery of God and Suffering: Lament, Trust, and Awe

by Kenneth Overberg


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Humans have long searched for an adequate answer to an age-old question: If God is good, why do we suffer? An entire book of the Bible, Job, is dedicated to the problem of God and human suffering. Theologians across continents and centuries have debated the intricacies, inconsistencies, and assumptions the question elicits. And of course, many have turned to Jesus's own suffering, and his horrible death at the cross, in search of understanding. All too often, the resulting approaches to the mystery of suffering, though linked to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and traditions, fail to satisfy contemporary hearts and minds.

The Mystery of God and Suffering draws guidance from the Gospel of John and the letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians, and focuses on God's overflowing love in creation as a foundation for understanding Jesus's death and its implications for those who follow him. This work offers an alternative vision, one emphasizing incarnation over atonement, for all those who find themselves uneasy or even oppressed by the notion of a vindictive God who demands the suffering and death of his son. The Mystery of God and Suffering also speaks to a larger audience, comprised of all those who suffer and search for meaning in their suffering. With a focus on the eternal concepts of life and love that are not simply integral to but inseparable from a God who is good, as well as on insights of believers through the ages, The Mystery of God and Suffering offers wise guidance for our journey into the abyss of suffering.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506440040
Publisher: 1517 Media
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Pages: 102
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Kenneth R. Overberg, SJ, is professor emeritus of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Jesuit priest. He is the author of a number of books, including Into the Abyss of Suffering: A Catholic View and Ethics and Aids: Compassion and Justice in Global Crisis. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In the Spirit of Job 1

1 The Dark Abyss of Suffering 5

2 The Life and Vision of Jesus 22

3 Jesus's Death and Its Interpretations 38

4 The Word Made Flesh 53

5 Responding to the Mystery of Suffering 69

6 The Mystery of God 88

Selected Bibliography 95

Author Index 98

Subject Index 100

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