Suffering & Meaning
in a Process-Relational Perspective
Three Sessions Exploring the Impulse to Find Meaning
in Suffering, and Seeking Healthy Alternatives.
In this three-week course Dr. Bob Mesle will examine the human impulse to find meaning in suffering, explore the ways in which people with good intentions often offer comforts which can lead to an unhealthy denial of life’s problems, and consider more healthy alternatives.
Course content is available online anytime, so you can set your own pace and choose your own space.
Pain hurts more when it feels meaningless, so we are powerfully motivated to find some meaning in our suffering. Unfortunately, people often do this in ways which seem to imply that nothing bad really happens. In this class we will explore ways in which people with good intentions offer comforts which can lead to an unhealthy denial of life’s problems. Drawing on the resources of process relational thinkers like H. N. Wieman, Daniel Day Williams, and Marjorie Suchocki we will work to develop healthier approaches to our shared suffering.
Too often the belief in and attempt to find a hidden meaning "leads to inactivity, to passive acceptance of the pain and suffering and the social injustices which often create them, rather than call us to work against them. I want to argue that we do better to confront directly the harsher realities and summon the courage to redeem from suffering whatever good lies within our power to create.”
About the Professor
Bob Mesle, Ph.D. is the author of Process Theology: A Basic Introduction (1993), Process Relational Philosophy: An Introduction to Alfred North Whitehead (2008), and John Hick’s Theodicy, with a response by John Hick (1991). He is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Religion, Graceland University.
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- Proceed at your own pace
- Interact with Dr. Mesle via private discussion forums
- Lifetime access to session recordings
- Receive early notification of future courses
- * Contribute whatever you feel the course is worth or whatever you can afford to help support this and other programs like it. No one is turned down for lack of funds.