“Divine Absence Itself Becomes a Mode of Divine Presence”: Evil and Suffering in the Christian Feminist Thinking of Elizabeth A. Johnson

in Wrestling with God and with Evil

After the tsunami on the day after Christmas 2004 representatives of different religious claimed this natural disaster to be a punishment by God. From a Catholic and feminist point of view, this essay explains this phenomenon by the traditional concept of classical theism. This concept is seriously undermined by radical suffering. The article introduces the American theologian Elizabeth A. Johnson as an attempt to imagine the suffering God who is mysteriously present in absence—not as providing a solution to the problem of God and evil but as a more appropriate response, encouraging not only practical consequences but also the hope for the resurrection of the dead. Johnson’s thinking is discussed in conjunction with the awareness of the limits of theoretical reflection.

Wrestling with God and with Evil

Philosophical Reflections