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Suffering & the Good Life


2017-2018 Research Theme: Suffering & the Good Life (sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust)

How can we flourish in the midst of suffering?

Suffering seems to be an inextricable part of human life. Can we seek and find the good life even in the midst of grave circumstances of suffering and pain?

Can psychology help us understand the nature and healing of suffering?

What psychological models and perspectives can shed light on the human condition and the suffering we endure? How can therapeutic approaches and clinical psychology integrate with spiritual theology to deliver healing and growth from trauma, pain, and suffering?

What is the role of grief, mourning, and lament in human flourishing?

What role do the psychological and spiritual dispositions of grief, mourning, lament, sadness, depression, and dark nights of the soul play in the search for meaning and purpose in human life?

What spiritual practices and psychological interventions for healing are available to those that suffer?

What practical interventions and therapies from the Christian spiritual tradition and contemporary psychology are effective in helping to heal from and grow through suffering?

Is there a distinctly Christian approach to the experience of suffering and its connection to happiness?

The Christian scriptures and tradition are rich in their exploration of the meaning, experience, and healing of suffering. Are these perspectives unique? And if so, how might they contribute to our understanding of evil, pain, and human suffering? Further, how might churches and other voluntary associations help their members harness suffering for good in their lives?

How can literature, poetry, and the arts give us perspective on suffering?

Where rational and intellectual treatments of suffering find their limits, the world of art, literature, and poetry often provide profound perspectives and healing expressions of suffering. How might a deeper exploration of suffering in artistic and aesthetic contexts shed light on the human experience of suffering, pain, loss, and negative life experiences?

J. Todd Billings

Rejoicing in Lament: J. Todd Billings on Life with Christ and Terminal Cancer

December 10, 2018

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Diane Glancy

No Man’s Land: Diane Glancy on Identity, Voicelessness, and Living in the In-Between

November 5, 2018

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Jessica Hooten Wilson

Jesus, Stab Me in the Heart!: Jessica Hooten Wilson on the Gospel According to Flannery O’Connor

October 29, 2018

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Nicholas Wolterstorff

Lament for a Son: Nicholas Wolterstorff on Grief and Suffering

October 8, 2018

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Vince Vitale

Why Suffering?: A Non-Identity Response

April 2, 2018

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Mathew Schmalz

Affliction: Mental Illness and the Absence of God

March 19, 2018

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Hayden Butler

The Wilderness: A Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent

February 14, 2018

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Eleonore Stump

Suffering, the Problem of Evil, & the Desires of the Heart

February 9, 2018

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Danielle Cummings

Finding the Other in the Embrace of Suffering

January 21, 2018

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Andrea Hollingsworth

Bibliography: Holy Spirit and Suffering

January 19, 2018

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