"Anatheism" within the framework of theodicy: from theistic thinking to theopaschitic thinking in a pastoral hermeneutics
Louw, D. J.
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The Syrian and refugee crises, the violent radicalisation in Europe, and global xenophobia stir up anew the link between the human quest for meaning and hope within the realm of human misery and destructive acts of severe evil. The article focuses on the problem of theodicy and its link to God images. It discusses both inclusive and exclusive approaches to the theodicy issue, and proposes a paradigm shift from threat power to intimate, vulnerable power. A diagram is designed in order to identify different metaphors for God in pastoral caregiving. With reference to a pastoral approach, lamentation is viewed as an appropriate variant for theodicy. In the attempt to return to ‘God after God’ (anatheism), lamentation could help reinterpret the ḥesed of God in terms of our human predicament of ‘undeserved suffering’.