A promised presence : a systematic theological inquiry into the theodicy question in the thought of Jürgen Moltmann and Paul S. Fiddes

Stander, Reinhardt (2018-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Many scholars claim that the discourse on theodicy is in a crisis. Against this backdrop this study argues that the idea of a “promised presence” holds promise for a more adequate engagement with the theodicy question. To argue this, I will offer a thorough reading of two theologians who have explored this question extensively, namely Jürgen Moltmann and Paul Fiddes. The study builds therefore on the writings of Moltmann, who argues that the cross and resurrection event establishes God’s promise, and thus hope, in the heart of the suffering believer, as it reveals a suffering God – the triune God. The notion of Promised Presence is further based on the proposal of Fiddes that the sufferer needs to take death seriously, so that he or she can take the promise of a suffering God seriously. This is supported by three theodicies: the theodicy of consolation, the theodicy of story, and the theodicy of protest. The consequential proposal from this research is a Theodicy of Promised Presence. In response to the question “What promise does the concept of promise in theodicy hold for theology?”, it is argued that a Theodicy of Promise, which recognises the promise of God’s presence, even in his absence, holds promise for a more adequate engagement with the theodicy question.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die aanspraak word dikwels gemaak dat die diskoers oor teodisee in ‘n krisis is. Teen hierdie agtergrond argumenteer hierdie studie ten gunste van die idee van ‘n “beloofde teenwoordigheid”. Die argument is dat hierdie idee belofte inhou om op ‘n meer adekwate wyse bemoeienis met die teodisee-vraagstuk te maak. In ‘n poging om groter klarigheid oor hierdie begrip te verkry, bied hierdie studie ‘n deeglike en kritiese interaksie met die werk van twee teoloë wat uitgebreid met hierdie saak geskryf het, te wete Jürgen Moltmann en Paul Fiddes. Die studie bou daarom op die werk van Moltmann, wat argumenteer dat die kruis- en opstandingsgebeure God se belofte, en dus ook hoop, in die hart van die lydende gelowige daarstel deurdat dit ‘n lydende God openbaar. Hierdie God is die drie-enige God. Die idee van ‘beloofte teenwoordigheid’ is verder gebaseer op die voorstel van Paul Fiddes dat die lydende persoon die dood ernstig moet neem, sodat hy of sy die belofte van die lydende God ernstig kan neem. Hierdie idee word ondersteun deur drie vorme van die teodisee-vraag wat Fiddes aan die orde stel, te wete ‘n teodisee van troos, ‘n teodisee van storie, en ‘n teodisee van protes. Die voorstel wat vloei uit die navorsing in hierdie studie is daarom ‘n “teodisee van beloofde teenwoordigheid”. As antwoord op die vraag: “Watter belofte hou die idee van belofte in terme van die teodisee-vraagstuk vir teologie in?”, argumenteer hierdie studie dat ‘n teodisee van belofte – wat die belofte van God se teenwoordigheid beklemtoon, ook te midde van ervarings van God se afwesigheid – belofte inhou vir ‘n meer adekwate teologiese bemoeienis met die teodisee-vraagstuk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103659
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