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From Misery to Hope

Encountering God in the Abyss of Suffering


Joseph Egan

How can one believe in a God of love amid all the evil and suffering found in the world? How does one do theology ‘after Auschwitz’, while vast numbers of people still have to endure violent oppression every day? This book seeks to address such questions from a standpoint informed by life in Africa, which in the face of extraordinary difficulties bears witness to Gospel hope by demonstrating forgiveness in action and promoting reconciliation.
The work unfolds in two parts. In the first part, a description of the misery that characterises much of life in Africa in the recent past opens up to a theological consideration of the underlying causes and of God’s response to them. In the second part, the joy which is so characteristic of life in Africa even in places of immense suffering sets the scene for detailed reflections on liturgy, memory, forgiveness and hope.


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Bibliography Note: The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is used throughout this work. Abbott, Walter M., ed. The Documents of Vatican II. London and Dublin: Geoffrey Chapman, 1966. Accattoli, Luigi. When a Pope Asks Forgiveness: The Mea Culpa’s of John Paul II. Translated by Jordan Aumann. New York: Alba House, 1998. Africa Faith and Justice Network under the direction of Maura Brown, eds. The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996. Aguilar, Mario. Theology, Liberation and Genocide: A Theology of the Periphery. London: SCM Press Ltd, 2009. Ainger, Katharine. “The Scramble for Africa.” New Internationalist 367 (May 2004) 9–12. Alfaro, Juan. Christian Hope and the Liberation of Man. Rome and Sydney: E. J. Dwyer, 1978. Alison, James. Raising Abel: The Recovery of the Eschatological Imagination. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1996. —— Knowing Jesus. Second edition. London: SPCK, 1998. —— The Joy of Being Wrong: Original Sin through Easter Eyes. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1998. Anderson, E. Byron. Worship and Christian Identity: Practicing Ourselves. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2003. Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Revised edition. San Diego, New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1973 [1951]. —— The Human Condition. Second edition. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1998 [1958]. Arnold, Guy. Africa: A Modern History. London: Atlantic Books, 2005. Augustine, St. Confessions. Translated by Henry Chadwick. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Bailie, Gil. Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads. New York: The Crossroad Publishing...

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