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Struggling with God, by Simon D. Podmore New Title

Struggling with God


Kierkegaard and the Temptation of Spiritual Trial


By Simon D. Podmore


 
 


A theological exploration of the tradition of 'spiritual trial', drawing on Kierkegaard's treatment of the topic to propose a modern understanding of the struggle of the Spirit towards God.

ISBN: 9780227173435
Specifications: 234x156mm, 290pp, Paperback
Publication: October 2013
Stock: Available
Print Paperback Price: £25.00
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About this Book

Invoking the biblical motif of Jacob's struggle with the Face of God (Genesis 32), Simon D. Podmore undertakes a constructive theological account of 'spiritual trial' (tentatio; known in German mystical and Lutheran tradition as Anfechtung) in relation to enduring questions of the otherness and hiddenness of God and the self, the problem of suffering and evil, the freedom of Spirit, and the anxious relationship between temptation and ordeal, fear and desire. This book traces a genealogy of spiritual trial from medieval German mystical theology, through Lutheran and Pietistic thought (Tauler; Luther; Arndt; Boehme), and reconstructs Kierkegaard's innovative yet under-examined recovery of the category (Anfægtelse: a Danish cognate for Anfechtung) within the modern context of the 'spiritless' decline of Christendom.

Developing the relationship between struggle (Anfechtung) and release (Gelassenheit), Podmore proposes a Kierkegaardian theology of spiritual trial that elaborates the kenosis of the self before God in terms of Spirit's restless longing to rest transparently in God. Offering an original rehabilitation of the temptation of spiritual trial, this book strives for a renewed theological hermeneutic that speaks to the enduring human struggle to realise the unchanging love of God in the face of spiritual darkness.

Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations

Introduction – Struggling with God: Towards a Kierkegaardian Theology of Spiritual Trial

1. The Secret Struggle: Lost in Translation
2. The Old Devotional Books: Anfechtung in Tauler and the Theologia Deutsch
3. Melancholia Coram Deo: Luther's Theology of Anfechtung
4. God's Fire in the Soul: Anfechtung in Arndt and Boehme
5. Before God in Secret: Spiritual Trial and Temptation in Kierkegaard I
6. The God-forsaken God: Spiritual Trial and Temptation in Kierkegaard II
7. The Desire of Spirit: Restlessness and the Transparency of Rest
8. The Temptation of Spiritual Trial

Bibliography
Index

Extracts

   Introduction » (PDF, 128 KB)

About the Author

Dr Simon D. Podmore is Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Liverpool Hope University. He is author of Kierkegaard and the Self Before God: Anatomy of the Abyss and numerous articles and essays in philosophical, pastoral, and systematic theology. He is also Secretary of the Søren Kierkegaard Society of the United Kingdom.

Reviews and Comments

"Simon D. Podmore fills a scholarly lacuna with this detailed and well documented study of Kierkegaard's attempt to revive and refine the virtually forgotten but vital concept of spiritual trial. ... Podmore gives eloquent voice to the silent, secret struggle of the human spirit both with and against God and itself. ... In line with Kierkegaard's vision, Podmore also points intriguingly toward a contemporary theology of spiritual trial based on the notion of a kenosis-in-ekstasis or self-emptying in love and desire to be with and for others, making his work 'must reading' not only for Kierkegaardians but also for theologians, pastors, and other spiritually concerned individuals."
Professor Sylvia Walsh-Perkins, Scholar in Residence at Stetson University

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