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God and the Mystery of Human Suffering

  • Vice-Provincial of St. Paul of the Cross Province
  • Former Professor, Saint John’s Seminary, Boston
  • Former Professor, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
12 Lectures (5 CDs) Including Electronic Study Guide


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We recommend this course to all thoughtful Catholics who have reflected on God and suffering.

Explore approaches to suffering found in the Bible. Examine the classical Christian perspective on God found in the writings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Then explore the insights of significant Jewish and Christian thinkers who have reflected on God and suffering during the past 60 years.

After examining the Scriptures and the thought of Augustine and Aquinas, you will listen to the reflections of two men whose lives were irrevocably changed by the Shoah (Nazi Holocaust) – Elie Wiesel and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Their personal reflections on God’s relation to suffering people have catalyzed the thought of later theologians and spiritual writers.

Then you will explore the ideas of four theologians who have attended carefully to this mystery: Jürgen Moltmann, Edward Schillebeeckx, Gustavo Gutierrez and Elizabeth Johnson. Finally, Fr. Ryan will offer his own ideas about a theological and spiritual approach to the mystery of suffering.

You are invited to enter into a lively conversation with the people and ideas that are presented. Every believer grapples with the experience of suffering in his or her life. The goal of this series is to help you reflect on the theological perspectives that are discussed as part of your own search for ways of talking about God and suffering that are both faithful to the tradition and responsive to real experience. The material that is presented has direct implications for your own reflection and for pastoral care to suffering people. It also touches on resources for prayer in the midst of the experience of suffering.

Learn about downloadable programs.

Your Free Electronic Study Guide! When you order this course, we will send you a free electronic study guide that you can access in 3 convenient ways:

1) You can check your order confirmation email. It will include a link that enables you to download your guide.
2) The back of your program package also contains a copy of this link. You can access your guide by simply entering this URL into your browser.
3) Your case of CDs or DVDs will contain a copy of your electronic guide on CD. Simply insert this disc into your computer's CD/DVD drive to access your guide.

About Your Presenter

Fr. Robin Ryan, C.P., Ph.D., is an award-winning professor, celebrated author, and experienced retreat leader. After receiving his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America, he taught theology at Saint John’s Seminary in Boston and at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago for fifteen years. A Passionist priest and leader, Fr. Ryan has spent many years in retreat ministry, and he leads retreats for laity, religious, and clergy across the country. He served as the Director of Bishop Molloy Passionist Retreat House in Queens, New York, from 1996 to 2000.

Fr. Ryan is the editor and co-author of Catholics on Call: Discerning a Life of Service in the Church (Liturgical Press, 2010) and the author of God and the Mystery of Suffering: A Theological Conversation Through the Ages (Paulist Press, 2011). He has written many articles on theological and spiritual themes, and he is also the English-language editor and contributing author of the Dictionary of the Passion. Fr. Ryan was the founding director of Catholics on Call at CTU, and he is currently a member of the leadership team of the Passionist congregation in the Eastern United States.

Topic Titles

  • Introduction to the Mystery
  • Perspectives on Suffering in the Hebrew Scriptures
  • The Book of Job and the Suffering of God in the Old Testament
  • The New Testament
  • Early Church, Aquinas, Classical Theism
  • Elie Wiesel
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Jürgen Moltmann
  • Edward Schillebeeckx
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez
  • Elizabeth Johnson
  • Final Reflections

Bundle Options

Buy this product as a bundle and save!

  1. god-mystery-human-suffering Bundle: God and the Mystery of Human Suffering + Introduction to Catholic Theology - 14 CDs Total $104.95

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Customer Reviews

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Excellent Review by Faithful Student
This is an excellent, well done presentation. Please offer more courses by Prof. Ryan - also would prefer DVDs to CDs. Thanks! (Posted on 8/6/12)

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