In this paper, based on a presentation delivered at the 2009 Annual Meeting at the Atlanta University Center, Holmes engages the debate over the redemptive nature of suffering in Christianity. Are evil, suffering, and oppression redemptive, thereby bringing us closer to the divine? Or, are suffering and oppression detrimental to the salvific nature of Christ’s liberation? Holmes explores the religious and philosophical literary tradition of redemptive suffering, especially as interpreted in African American religious thought, and shows us that the answers to these questions are complex and multifaceted.


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