In this brilliant new study, Katharine Dell examines the problem of undeserved suffering. She proposes that God suffers along with us and explores the concept of redemption, offering in the end a Chris-tian response to the mystery of undeserved suffering.
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Dell's (theology and religious studies, St. Catharine's Coll., Cambridge) special area of interest is the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. She applies a depth of scholarship to probing the inconsistencies of Job's characterization. By looking at Job's mixed responses to suffering, Dell illuminates the paradoxical possibilities of growth and acceptance that are born of human despair and anger, giving the reader a deeper appreciation of the complexity behind the Book of Job's simplistic fairy-tale ending. Dell avoids offering a definitive rationale for the problem of evil and suffering in the Book of Job, looking instead at the possible range of human responses to suffering and their various consequences. Suitable for public, academic, and theological libraries.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There is not much new or particularly profound in this book, but readers who are not familiar with scholarly interpretation of the Book of Job may be surprised to discover here a rebellious Job rather than the "patient" one so firmly ensconced in popular culture. Dell reads the biblical book as two stories with one ending. She suggests (as have other interpreters) that the old story of a patient Job was brought to consciousness and challenged by an author who wove it together with the story of a Job who shook his fist at God. Many have found that biblical precedent for anger at God a powerful aid in confronting grief. Readers who have not discovered this aspect of Job will be grateful to Dell for introducing it to them. Steve Schroeder
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