Biola University- The Table Podcasts
“The heart of Christianity is personal relationship, persons sharing love with each other. And so for Christians, the greatest thing for a human being is not character development. But it’s loving personal relationship. And the idea in the Christian tradition is that something about suffering enables you—doesn’t make you, but it enables you—to open and open and open and open more deeply to God. When you are more open to God, you are also more open to other people. So that the best thing for human beings in the world is personal relationship. And that’s the thing that suffering enables you to have more of.” Eleonore Stump is an exemplar of faith seeking understanding, fides quaerens intellectum. She’s a philosopher in the Thomist tradition, which she brings fiercely and beautifully to bear in her incisive philosophical commentary and analysis on difficult matters.
She is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at St. Louis University, where she’s taught since 1992. She’s also an honorary professor at Wuhan University and the Logos Institute at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She’s a professorial fellow at Australian Catholic University. She’s published extensively in philosophy of religion, contemporary metaphysics, and medieval philosophy. Her books include a major study of Thomas Aquinas. Her extensive treatment of the problem of evil, Wandering in Darkness, is the focal piece for this interview. Her most recent work on the atonement of Christ came out just last year.
In this interview, we discuss the core of what a Christian ought to care about most, the phenomenology and experience of suffering, Eleonore’s take on the question of whether God suffers and dies, and finally, how interpersonal union is intimately connected to finding meaning in suffering. Across each of these issues, you’ll hear in Eleonore a gentleness and kindness of spirit that’s equaled only by the carefulness and precision of her philosophical analysis." Video Introduction
Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (link to Amazon)