Suffering and doctrine

Embracing Travail: Retrieving the Cross Today, by Cynthia S. W. Crysdale

"In midlife I found myself lost in a dark wood." This, the opening sentence of Dante's Divine Comedy, marks out a journey many of us know well. The suffering we must endure and see others endure is a mystery at once terrible and familiar. Cynthia Crysdale, professor of faith development and ethics at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., considers this "problem of suffering"—as it is so blandly called—the centerpiece of contemporary theology. Crysdale offers a meditation on the problem, not a solution to it. She explores how the long shadow cast by suffering touches all aspects of Christian life and doctrine.


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