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Suffering and charity in the dark night of the soul



Eleonore Stump's solution to the problem of suffering fails to show how God could be justified in permitting persons to suffer the dark night of the soul. In this article, I explain why and offer an amendment. I contend that a person who responds to the dark night in the right way experiences positive feedback between suffering and charity. This feedback not only enables the sufferer ultimately to attain his heart's desire but also explains why God is justified in permitting persons to suffer the dark night.



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Bungum, Donald J. (2013) ‘Joint attention, union with God, and the dark night of the soul’, European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 5, 187210.
John of the Cross (1990) Dark Night of the Soul, Peers, E. A. (ed.) (New York: Image).
Garrigou-Lagrange, Réginald (1937) Christian Perfection and Contemplation, according to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross, Doyle, M. T. (ed.) (St Louis MO: B. Herder Book Co.).
Stump, Eleonore (2010) Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Stump, Eleonore (2010) (n.d.) ‘The problem of evil and atonement’, unpublished manuscript.
Teresa of Avila (2007) Interior Castle, Peers, E. A. (ed.) (Mineola NY: Dover Books).
Mother Teresa, (2007) Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta, Kolodiejchuk, B. (ed.) (New York: Image).
Zeigler, Bernard P., Praehofer, Herbert, & Kim, Tag Gon (2000) Theory of Modeling and Simulation: Integrating Discrete Event And Continuous Complex Dynamic Systems (San Diego CA: Academic Press).
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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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