This unit engages selected perspectives on the theology of suffering. It encourages participants to articulate their own theological perspectives on suffering and evil in relation to contemporary issues. Particular focus will be given to articulating a theology of hope.

Focused theological input, case study analysis, peer reflection and practitioner insight will engage participants as they review and articulate how their theology of suffering and hope intersects with vocational realities.

Unit code: CT8724S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Describe key issues in traditional theodicies used to make sense of suffering.


Critique a theological understanding of Inaugurated Eschatology as a theology of hope.


Articulate diverse historical and contemporary proposals for generating a theology of hope.


Utilise resources for responding to expressions of suffering and generating hope in particular contexts.


Evaluate their own theologies of suffering and hope in their own context and vocation.

Unit sequence

Available in any postgraduate course of study in which it is permitted. No prerequisites. Some previous theological study and or pastoral experience will be useful.


Focused theological input, case study analysis, peer reflection and practitioner insight are accompanied by guided reading and reflection on lived experience. Synchronous and asynchronous methods will be used, with the unit able to be taken fully asynchronously.

Indicative Bibliography

Harrower, Scott. God of All Comfort: A Trinitarian Response to the Horrors of This World. Lexham Pr, 2019.

Kapic, Kelly M. Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering. Downers Grove: Ivp Academic, 2017.

Makant, Mindy. The Practice of Story: Suffering and the Possibilities of Redemption. Baylor University Press, 2015.

McCarroll, Pamela R. Waiting at the Foot of the Cross: Toward a Theology of Hope for Today (Distinguished Dissertations in Christian Theology): 11. Eugene, Or: Pickwick Publications, 2013.

McDowell, John C. and Scott A. Kirkland. Eschatology. (Guides to Theology), Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2018.

Moltmann, Jürgen. Theology of Hope. 1st Fortress Press ed edition. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.

Polk, David P. God of Empowering Love: A History and Reconception of the Theodicy. Conundrum. Process Century Press, 2016.

Soelle, Dorothee. Suffering. Translated by Everett R. Kalin. Philadelphia, Pa.: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1975.

Swinton, John. Raging With Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans Pub Co, 2007.

Wright, N. T. Evil and the Justice of God. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Books, 2013.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review - Book Review 1000 10.0
Case Study - Case Study 2000 20.0
Essay - Essay 3000 50.0
Reflection - Summative Reflection 1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 8 May, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-07 11:05:52 +1100