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Standing helpless at the roar and surging of the sea: reading biblical texts in the shadow of the wave
Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Theology. University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4683-3302
2006 (English)In: Studia Theologica, ISSN 0039-338X, E-ISSN 1502-7791, Vol. 60, no 1, p. 21-41Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The classical questions of theodicy are regularly brought to the fore by large catastrophes, such as the recent tsunami. The present article reviews a number of responses in early Jewish literature, arguing that a traditional paradigm, based on the idea of retribution and clearly exhibited in deuteronomistic history, lies at the bottom of most – if not all – of these. Today, moralizing as well as apocalyptic readings are rendered meaningless by our evolutionary worldview. Catastrophes are often caused by those very properties of nature that have made the evolution of human life and society possible. We thus need a modified understanding of divine purpose and control. From such a perspective, three gospel texts are discussed: the stilling of the storm, the tower of Siloam and part of Jesus’ eschatological discourse. While trust in God's control in view of natural disasters is difficult to expect, some of these texts may be read against traditional paradigms as invitations to co-operation and common responsibility in relieving human suffering. This is part of the evolution of human life that in the end might help us to find moral, future and even divine purpose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 60, no 1, p. 21-41
Keywords [en]
Bible -- Theology, Bible. Gospels -- Theology, Theodicy, Disasters, Suffering, Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2004
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-450DOI: 10.1080/00393380600659206OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ths-450DiVA, id: diva2:1359573
Available from: 2019-10-09 Created: 2019-10-09 Last updated: 2019-10-09Bibliographically approved

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Kazen, Thomas

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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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