Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering by Eleonore Stump

Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

byEleonore Stump

Paperback | September 20, 2012

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Only the most naive 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 Stumpalso 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'stheodicy 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.

About The Author

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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Title:Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of SufferingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:688 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.03 inPublished:September 20, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199659303

ISBN - 13:9780199659302

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Table of Contents

IncipitPart I: The Nature of the Project1. Suffering, Theodicy, and Defense2. Philosophy and Narrative3. Narrative as a Means of Knowledge: Francis and Dominic4. Narrative and the Knowledge of PersonsPart II: The World at Large: Love and Loneliness5. The Nature of Love6. Union, Presence, and Omnipresence7. Willed Loneliness8. Other-worldly RedemptionPart III: The World of the Stories: Suffering in Particular9. The Story of Job: Suffering and the Second-personal10. The Story of Samson: Self-Destroying Evil11. The Story of Abraham: The Desires of the Heart12. The Story of Mary of Bethany: Heartbrokenness and ShamePart IV: Other-worldly Theodicy: What We Care About in a Defense13. Theodicy in Another World14. What We Care About: the Desires of the Heart15. The Defense of the Defense: Suffering, Flourishing, and the Desires of the HeartDesinit

Editorial Reviews

"a must-read for philosophers of religion and a very beneficial read for other philosophers and for other scholars of religion. It is without question a highly nuanced and philosophically deep book." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews