God’s Wounds: Hermeneutic of the Christian Symbol of Divine Suffering (Volume II: Evil and Divine Suffering)

By Jeff B. Pool

Volume II of a groundbreaking study of the suffering of God in Christian tradition, revealing new insights into the relationship between God and creation.

ISBN: 9780227173602


God’s Wounds: Hermeneutic of the Christian Symbol of Divine Suffering, Volume II: Evil and Divine Suffering is the second of a three-volume study of Christian testimonies to divine suffering. The larger study focuses its inquiry on the testimonies to divine suffering themselves, seeking to allow the voices that attest to divine suffering to speak freely. The goal is then to discover and elucidate the internal logic or rationality of this family of testimonies, rather than defending these attestations against the dominant claims of classical Christian theism that have historically sought to eliminate such language altogether from Christian discourse about the nature and life of God.

This second volume proceeds on the basis of the presuppositions of the symbol, those implicit attestations that permit the possibility of divine suffering – that which constitutes divine vulnerability with respect to creation. The author investigates two divine wounds or modes of divine suffering to which the larger family of testimonies normally attest: (1) divine grief, or suffering due to human sin or betrayal by the beloved human; and (2) divine self-sacrifice, or suffering for the beloved human in its bondage to sin or misery, so as to establish the possibility of redemption and reconciliation.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Jeff B. Pool is Associate Professor of Religion, College Chaplain, and Director of the Campus Christian Center, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky.


Prologue: Central Mystery of the Christian Symbol of Divine Suffering

Part One: God’s First Wound: Divine Grief
Introduction to Part One: The Structure of Divine Grief

Division One: Infidelity of the Beloved Human
Introduction to Division One: Sin as Occasion of Divine Grief
1. Human Cupiditas: Formal Characteristics
2. Human Cupiditas: Material Characteristics

Division Two: Sorrow of the Betrayed Divine Lover
Introduction to Division Two: First Stage of Divine Grief
3. Divine Sorrow: Formal Characteristics
4. Divine Sorrow: Material Characteristics

Division Three: Anguish of the Betrayed Divine Lover
Introduction to Division Three: Second Stage of Divine Grief
5. Divine Anguish: Formal Characteristics
6. Divine Anguish: Material Characteristics

Part Two: God’s Second Wound: Divine Self-Sacrifice
Introduction to Part Two: The Structure of Divine Self-Sacrifice

Division Four: Misery of the Beloved Human’s Infidelity
Introduction to Division Four: Misery of Sin as Occasion for Divine Self-Sacrifice
7. Misery of Human Cupiditas: Formal Characteristics
8. Misery of Human Cupiditas: Material Characteristics

Division Five: Travail of the Betrayed Divine Lover’s Fidelity
Introduction to Division Five: First Stage of Divine Self-Sacrifice
9. Divine Travail: Formal Characteristics
10. Divine Travail: Material Characteristics

Division Six: Agony of the Betrayed Divine Lover’s Fidelity
Introduction to Division Six: Second Stage of Divine Self-Sacrifice
11. Divine Agony: Formal Characteristics
12. Divine Agony: Material Characteristics

Epilogue: From Divine Agony to Divine Affliction

Appendix 1: Insights from the Reformed Doctrine of Total Depravity
Appendix 2: The Concepts of ύβρις and έπιθυμία
Appendix 3: Ancient Hellenistic Philosophy and the Christian Concept of Divine Impassibility
Appendix 4: Analytical Distinctions between Fear, Anxiety, and Anguish
Appendix 5: Divine Impassibility and Passibility in the Theology of Origen
Appendix 6: Arian Christologies of the Suffering Logos
Appendix 7: Historic Variations on the Classic Christian Theory of Atonement
Appendix 8: Fragments from the History of Patripassianist Theology
Appendix 9: Fragments from the History of Theopaschite Theology

Index of Scriptures
Index of Persons
Index of Topics


Endorsements and Reviews

Pool’s book provides a probing study of the meaning of suffering and evil in the light of the Christian revelation. This second volume of a trilogy offers a depth of analysis of a perennial subject that contemporary theologians will value.
Chester Gillis, Georgetown University

Jeff Pool’s God’s Wounds provides one of the most carefully written discussions of the relationship between evil and divine suffering. This deeply theological book offers a sustained treatment of a theme that many Christians invoke but few can discuss with any clarity: the meaning of divine suffering and its role in liberation from all forms of oppression. It ought to be read by anyone concerned with the contemporary meaning of the drama of sin and redemption.
Stephen J. Pope, Boston College

The second volume of Jeff Pool’s trilogy interprets the core of our Christian heritage as a story and message of divine suffering in loving response to the miseries of creaturely cupiditas. Consistent in his method and in his critical approach, while painstakingly careful in dealing with both the Bible and the flood of relevant studies, the author offers his readers a coherent and challenging construal of the biblical view of the universe and its destiny.
Petr Macek, Charles University in Prague