With Joyful Acceptance, Maybe: Developing a Contemporary Theology of Suffering in Conversation with Five Christian Thinkers: Gregory the Great, Julian of Norwich, Jeremy Taylor, C. S. Lewis, and Ivone Gebara

With Joyful Acceptance, Maybe: Developing a Contemporary Theology of Suffering in Conversation with Five Christian Thinkers: Gregory the Great, Julian of Norwich, Jeremy Taylor, C. S. Lewis, and Ivone Gebara

by Molly Field James

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Overview

In a world where advertisements lead us to hope for a life free from suffering, facing the reality of suffering can be a particular challenge. Yet the reality of suffering is one that we all face in the course of our lives. While Christianity often has the reputation of a tradition that promotes the idea that all suffering is good for you and makes you a better person, there is, in fact, much more variety and nuance to the tradition. While there are those who advocate a wholesale acceptance, there are others who question the source of suffering and call for it to be fought against. This book delves into the world of five theologians-Gregory the Great, Julian of Norwich, Jeremy Taylor, C. S. Lewis and Ivone Gebara-to understand their perspectives and draw on their approaches as a way of understanding what Christian responses to suffering look like. This book constructs a contemporary theology that affirms the importance of the call to combat unjust suffering through acts of love and mercy, while also affirming that acceptance of the reality of endemic suffering, found in all five theologians, can provide us with opportunities to grow spiritually, live more faithfully and to experience the blessings in the midst of suffering that are a foretaste of heavenly bliss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620322802
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 518,571
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Molly Field James is a cancer survivor, wife, mother, Episcopal priest, and professor who lives and works in Connecticut. She holds a doctorate in Theology from the University of Exeter, UK, and a Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. In addition to parish and Diocesan work, she teaches Ethics and Pastoral Care at Hartford Seminary and the University of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Christian Theologies of Suffering Across the Centuries xv

1 Gregory on Grief: "The Great Teacher" 1

2 Faith through Suffering: An Examination of Julian of Norwich and Her Showings 33

3 Jeremy Taylor's Rigorous, Lifelong Approach to Living with Suffering and Grief 75

4 Permission to Grieve: C. S. Lewis and a Personal History of Sorrow 112

5 Transforming and Reframing Tradition: A Theology of Suffering and Loss in the Work of Ivone Gebara 144

Conclusion: A Contemporary Theology of Suffering 177

Bibliography 195

Subject/Name Index 203

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