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Raging with Compassion


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About the Author

John Swinton is Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and is Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University of Aberdeen.


Iain Torrance
-- Princeton Theological Seminary
"It takes a particular gift, persuasiveness, and credibility to challenge a paradigm so ingrained and so evaded by a generation of textbooks. Long experience as both a mental health nurse and a theologian has given John Swinton that credibility. The community of Christians, gathered around a suffering Lord, has unique resilience to respond to evil creatively. This hopeful book recovers a theodicy of action and faithfulness. It has immense pastoral value."

James N. Poling
-- Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
"What should pastoral leaders do with the problem of evil? The arguments about theodicy in seminary are always inadequate in a real pastoral encounter. In this creative book John Swinton develops a practical theology of theodicy for the ministry of the church that focuses on lament, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, and friendship. For the first time, we have an approach that combines the best in theology with the best in ministry practices. Every pastoral leader should read this book!"

Margaret E. Mohrmann
-- University of Virginia, Charlottesville
"Attentive compassion, the hallmark of Christian life and work in the world, permeates this book. John Swinton courageously tackles what is truly difficult about theodicy -- not the intellectual question, which he sets aside with clarity and care, but the requirements of authentic ministry in the face of actual experiences of evil or suffering. The edifying result is a set of luminous and compelling essays on the emotionally wrenching but morally formative practices of lament, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, and hospitality. Raging with Compassion shows us the contours of a 'theodicy' of sense and beauty, one that can sustain life within a faithful, hopeful Christian community."

Bonnie Miller-McLemore
-- Vanderbilt University Divinity School
"This is the new practical theology at its best -- engaging theology not as some kind of distant abstraction but in the midst of the most dire human struggles with evil and suffering. Not only does John Swinton bring theology and theodicy down to earth with verve and sensitivity, but he also offers a plethora of wise advice about practices that ward off evil -- lament, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, friendship -- which warrant our full and lively engagement."

Christian Century
"It would be hard to imagine a more accessible and thoughtful book to use for a general class that addresses both the philosophy of religion and the reality of the church."

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