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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.
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Robert Gibbs is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and the author of Why Ethics? (2000) . Elliot R. Wolfson is the Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Religious Studies Program and Hebrew and Judaic Studies Department at New York University.Review:
Yet what may be most valuable about this collection is its signaling of the subtle shifts which are afoot in approaches to the age-old theodicy question in our postmodern times.
–Religious Studies Review
Suffering Religion is...a juxtaposition of ideas which, in a large measure, succeed in 'openness'.
–Journal of the American Academy of Religion
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