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Cancer, Theodicy and Theology: a personal reflection

Macallan, Brian (2017) Cancer, Theodicy and Theology: a personal reflection. Process Studies, 46 (2). pp. 229-241. ISSN 0360-6503

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Abstract

Theodicy wrestles with suffering and pain, while seeking to understand God’s engagement with these realities. Cancer raises similar questions, while focusing on specific aspects of those questions. Cancer appears to challenge many aspects of Christian doctrine, in particular issues regarding the origin of sin, Christology, and ultimately one’s doctrine of God. This article explores how my own personal diagnosis of colon cancer has led to an exploration and re-evaluation of these traditional doctrines and their relevance for my own faith journey. The realities of cancer, and random cell mutation as an evolutionary driver, appear to call into question traditional understandings of the origin of suffering and sin, and, I would argue, the very role of Jesus. A process theology that redefines core features of the nature of God is proposed as one way of addressing these doctrines and their impact for faith. These features will note the limited nature of God with regard to power and knowledge as well as the nature of a God who truly risks.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Process theology, cancer, theodicy, evolution
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950499 Religion and Ethics not elsewhere classified
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Humanities, general
D - Pastoral Studies
College/Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Brian Macallan
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 04:25
Last Modified: 31 May 2018 05:42
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3076

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