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led astray

January 2013

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animeface

theological defense of masochocism?

I'm kidding. Mostly.

But that's what came into my head today when I was reading for class on my lunch break. Here's the passage:

"One claim that she advances is that the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation (of God's becoming human in the man Jesus of Nazareth) symbolizes God's intimate identification with the human condition, including suffering. This allows her to say that all suffering, no matter how terrible, is already invested with a positive aspect."

Granted, I am taking that slightly out of context and giving myself a chuckle with it, but the discussion continued to a place that gave me a serious question that might come up on my midterm. The book continues;

"...why an explanation that involves highly specific Christian doctrines should be credible to those who do not embrace Christian commitments."

And since the class is about classical theism, which is not restricted to Christianity, the question is pertinant. What I am wondering is, do Judiasm and/or Islam have any teachings/writings/doctrines about God being deeply aquainted with human suffering (aside from the omniscience argument that God knows human suffering because he knows everything there is to know)? If anyone knows, please enlighten me.

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