Struggling With God
Beginning with the biblical motif of Jacob's struggle with God (Genesis 32), Podmore undertakes a theological investigation and rehabilitation of 'spiritual trial' [known in the German Lutheran tradition as Anfechtung] in relation to enduring theological, philosophical, and pastoral questions of...
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Beginning with the biblical motif of Jacob's struggle with God (Genesis 32), Podmore undertakes a theological investigation and rehabilitation of 'spiritual trial' [known in the German Lutheran tradition as Anfechtung] in relation to enduring theological, philosophical, and pastoral questions of the otherness and hiddenness of God and the self, the problem of suffering, and the nature of evil. After tracing the genealogy of 'spiritual trial' from the German Pietistic and mystical traditions - as well as in relation to earlier analogues and antecedents in Christian thought - to Kierkegaard's modern attempt at rehabilitating the category, Podmore examines the more secular forms of 'spiritual trial' in the twentieth century existentialist tradition and its subsequent disappearance from theological discourse. Struggling With God has two major objectives: one retrospective; the other prospective. The first objective is a focused recovery and explication of Kierkegaard's under-examined and frequently overlooked category of Anfagtelse ('spiritual trial': a Danish cognate for the German category of Anfechtung - a spiritual-existential struggle centring both etymologically and allegorically around the notion of 'fighting' [fagte/fecht] with God). The second more expansive objective is a creative and progressive rehabilitation of this theme for contemporary theology and spiritual care. This theological account of 'spiritual trial', or 'struggling with God', draws upon the existential philosophies and Holocaust theologies of the twentieth century, arguing that the theme of spiritual struggle endures new cultural forms and thus deserves to be brought out of the darkness, secrecy, and silence, and into the light of renewed theological discourse.
- Acknowledgements List Of Abbreviations Introduction - Struggling With God: Towards A Kierkegaardian Theology Of Spiritual Trial 1. The Secret Struggle: Lost In Translation 2. The Old Devotional Books: Anfechtung In Tauler And The Theologia Deutsch 3. Melancholia Coram Deo: Luther's Theology Of Anfechtung 4. God's Fire In The Soul: Anfechtung In Arndt And Boehme 5. Before God In Secret: Temptation And Spiritual Trial In Kierkegaard I 6. To The God-forsaken God: Temptation And Spiritual Trial In Kierkegaard I 7. The Desire Of Spirit 8. The Temptation Of Spiritual Trial Index