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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399802710

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 15th September 2022

Genre: Humanities / Religion & Beliefs / Christianity

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To many, the problem of evil and suffering constitutes by far the most serious objection to mainstream religious belief. For all its starkness and salience, though, the dilemma is also widely misinterpreted. That visceral feelings often dominate discussion is understandable on one level. But this can displace the clearer-headed thinking needed to shed greater light on the subject.

In this brief but broad-ranging book, Rupert Shortt shows that belief in a divine Creator is much more coherent intellectually than many sceptics suppose. Basic misconceptions about core aspects of Judaism, Christianity and Islam can in turn spawn still greater caricatures of subjects including divine power. Having cleared the ground, Shortt goes on to discuss the nature of evil from a classical Abrahamic standpoint and how Christian resources in particular offer guidance in an area where raw emotion, conceptual thought and the deepest trials of the spirit overlap. If the dilemma has no clear solution, that need not discredit sensitive and creative ways of grappling with it.

The Hardest Problem is an accessible contemporary reflection on the perennial question of human suffering.

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Reviews

'Wise, informed and immensely thoughtful'
Alister McGrath
'Beguiling'
Julia Neuberger
'One of the most cogent writers of our day'
Peter Sedgwick
'Deep theological knowledge and spiritual discernment'
John Barton