Divine & Human Suffering in Late Antiquity

The course considers the early development of the doctrine of incarnation by taking the problem of God’s participation in the suffering of Christ as a common theme running through the main controversies of the patristic period. In addition, the students will reflect on: early Christian readings of biblical passages that ascribe emotions and other anthropomorphic features to God; how the issue of divine (im)passibility was approached in Hellenistic philosophies; the experience and theology of Christian martyrdom; early Christian solutions to theodicy and conceptualizations of atonement. In light of patristic insights we will assess the strengths and weaknesses of modern tendency to represent God as a fellow-sufferer.

Course Syllabus

Course PowerPoints