Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Anne Clifford

Committee Member

Sean P. Kealy

Committee Member

Bogdan Bucur


Walter Brueggemann, Jon Sobrino, Jürgen Moltmann, suffering, theodicy, theology of God


This dissertation provides a study and analysis of Old Testament theology's discernment of God through hiddenness, silence, absence, and suffering and then brings into conversation notions of God drawn from these Old Testament traditions with notions of God drawn from an interpretation of the cross. This exploration is done through an in depth study of Walter Brueggemann's Old Testament theology of God as both a challenge and a contribution to the interpretation of the cross of Jesus Christ in the works of Jürgen Moltmann and Jon Sobrino.

The interpretations of the cross in the works of Moltmann and Sobrino recognize that the cross of Jesus Christ evokes a crisis for theology based in the discontinuity between the questions raised from the depths of suffering and the promises and purpose of God. Brueggemann discerns a similar crisis as central to Old Testament theology, a crisis that arises when the experience of suffering evokes questions and challenges for the covenantal theology that is the dominant theology of the Old Testament. All three scholars recognize that God's life giving and transforming power is not extrinsic to but is revealed in the midst of the unresolved conditions of life in the world. This insight leads these scholars to insist that the essence of Christian faith emerges not through freedom from the conflict but through entering into the midst of the conflict with hope. In the contemporary world the questions raised from the depths of suffering have become more sharply focused and beg for a response. A dialogue between the Old Testament theology of God of Brueggemann and the theologies of the cross of Moltmann and Sobrino deepens understanding of both the questions raised by suffering and a biblical response that resists resolution yet offers hope.