- List of Contributors
- The Self and the Good Life
- Nationalism and Patriotism
- The Making of the Modern Metropolis
- The Other
- Freedom and Human Emancipation
- Work and Labour
- Suffering In Theology and Modern European Thought
- Nihilism and Theology: Who Stands at the Door?
- War and Peace
- Radical Philosophy and Political Theology
- Beauty and Sublimity
- Time and History
- The Metaphysics of Modernity
- The Bible
- Divine Providence
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter traces the development of theological and philosophical reflection on the phenomenon of suffering in the modern European era. It identifies a shift from theory to practice in the latter part of the twentieth century, indicating a growing impatience with the search for abstract explanations of suffering, and a new stress on the practical issues of how to cope with it. In Christian theology, this shift has been marked by an increasing interest in the relevance of the crucifixion of Jesus for the problems of human suffering, rather than for traditional doctrines of atonement, and this in turn has led back to a kind of theodicy, though with a more practical weight than earlier attempts. Central to this new theodicy has been an affirmation of the suffering of God, overturning centuries of orthodoxy that had insisted on divine passibility and immutability, but following a track marked out already by Hegel and Schelling in the nineteenth century.
Paul S. Fiddes is Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Oxford and Director of Research at Regent’s Park College in the University. His books include: The Creative Suffering of God (1988), The Promised End. Eschatology in Theology and Literature (2000), and Participating in God. A Pastoral Doctrine of the Trinity (2000).
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.