Divine Suffering and Liberation in Ancient Christian Theology

Zahra Khoshkjan / Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Shahid Bahonar, Kerman

Received: 2018/04/27 - Accepted: 2018/09/21



This study seeks to address the relationship between suffering and salvation in Christian theology and define the meaning of suffering. The author focuses on three types of suffering that are not only not disconnected, but also closely related to each other: the suffering of the Christ, as a chosen and even extraordinary human being; an (ordinary) man's suffering and the suffering of God. The question of this study is centered on why and how suffering is accomplished and giving attention to a theological approach to Christian theology; the God who suffers. The response of modern Christian theology to the question whether or not God (with all His power and conquering force) can suffer is positive, and, of course, tries to respond to the paradox about the power and absoluteness of the one God (who is also the father) and His suffering by proposing such concepts like incarnation, the kenosis of the God of love and liberation. This answer explains why Christ suffered, and the physical and non-physical aspects of his suffering. Therefore, the cognitive aspect of the suffering of the father and the son indicates the depth of the voluntary, conscious, and intentional suffering so as to achieve human salvation although, the father has experienced this kind of suffering from the very beginning of the creation with the infusion of His soul into man. The narration of the reason for and way of the occurrence of this suffering took place, which is called Christian and divine suffering in Christian theology is the outcome of using the approaches of late Christian (Catholic) theologians so that some of them, such as J.urgen Moltmann, have developed the idea of divine suffering to go beyond the limit of practical theology of hope and liberator.


Keywords: divine suffering, Christianity, descent, kenosis, incarnation, Trinity.



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