Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

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OUP Oxford, Sep 23, 2010 - Religion - 688 pages
2 Reviews
Only the most na´ve 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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Review: Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

User Review  - James Klagge - Goodreads

I was going to give it a 3 until the last chapter, which was really very good--addressing all the reasons that giving a theodicy is a questionable enterprise. Written by a colleague from VT during my ... Read full review

Review: Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

User Review  - Greg Coates - Goodreads

Brilliant reflections on the problem of evil from both the analytical philosophical tradition and from narrative-centered biblical studies. Loved it! Read full review

About the author (2010)


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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