Interfering with divinely imposed suffering

Religious Studies 36 (1):95-102 (2000)

Abstract

In the course of presenting his celebrated 'vale of soul-making' theodicy, John Hick claims that in a world where all human suffering is either justly deserved divine punishment or imposed by God for the spiritual growth of the sufferer, people would lack opportunity to be involved in genuine acts of deep compassion. I argue that the relief of divinely imposed suffering can be a morally valuable and spiritually beneficial activity, and mention ideas from the Jewish tradition which suggest that it is right for people to ameliorate suffering even when that suffering constitutes a just punishment from God

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