The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God: Autobiographical and Theological Reflections

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Wipf and Stock Publishers, Jul 12, 2019 - Religion - 194 pages
The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God is a book written by a skeptical but spiritual person for people who struggle with the subjects of God, divine providence, prayer, and related issues; people who are looking for honest and thoughtful—and sometimes humorous—theological reflections, but no easy answers.

A work of creative theology fifteen years in the making, The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God deals primarily with the issue of suffering, starting with the book of Job, and addresses the subject of theodicy before going on to explore related topics of the role of prayer, God concepts, the meaning of revelation, and how we can best live together. Laytner intersperses these penetrating theological reflections with pertinent episodes from his life, starting with the personal tragedies that sparked this book. Trained as a liberal rabbi, Laytner riffs on Jewish themes to offer a universal yet personal response to each of the challenges he discusses.

His thesis is this: If you are troubled by the issue of suffering and wonder about God’s presence (or lack thereof) in the world, and you find no solace in any of the traditional theodicies, then change your conception of God and God’s involvement in the world. Problem solved!

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About the author (2019)

Anson Hugh Laytner is a retired liberal rabbi, living in Seattle, whose career in nonprofit and academic settings focused on fostering positive interfaith and interethnic relations. He is the author of Arguing with God (1990), coauthor of The Animals' Lawsuit Against Humanity (2005), and coeditor of The Chinese Jews of Kaifeng (2017).

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