an obession with first principles

One Thing I Wish Occupy Would Think About

Posted: Monday Oct 31st | Author: JohnO | Filed under: Epistemology, Philosophising | View Comments

Is a positive understanding of suffering

We are all aware of the negative aspects of suffering. But we would be remiss to never contemplate the positive aspects. Both of self-induced suffering, and of externally-produced suffering. When I say self-induced, I do not mean that we revile our own selves. Rather, that we forcibly, violently, push ourselves beyond our current abilities. Both physically, and mentally.

This, of course, is not to blame the victim, or validate the suffering inflicted upon groups or individuals. I know for a fact that in Theology the Black Church has had a huge amount to say on this topic. I regret that I have not been able to be read in it yet. Just as Cone argued for God’s own identification in blackness, the cross argues for God’s identification in suffering. What can we say about our this cruciform image of suffering?

I recognize that if Occupy is anything – the last thing it is is theological. So I don’t expect them to co-opt a theologian’s understanding of cruciformity or of suffering. Yet, I do hope (and at some point expect) a broader treatment of suffering in relation to the long history of its thought in this country, and in philosophy.