Item description for On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent by Gustavo Gutierrez & Matthew O'Connell...
Overview One of this century's most eminent theologians addresses the eternal question of the relationship of good and evil, linking the story of Job to the lives of the poor and oppressed of our world.
Publishers Description The Latin American liberation theologian's profound reading of the book of Job.
Citations And Professional Reviews On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent by Gustavo Gutierrez & Matthew O'Connell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 10/18/2011 page 30
Library Journal - 07/01/1987
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.19" Width: 5.99" Height: 0.56" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 1987
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 0883445522 ISBN13 9780883445525
Availability 0 units.
More About Gustavo Gutierrez & Matthew O'Connell
Gustavo Gutierrez, a Dominican priest and theologian from Peru, is the author of "A Theology of Liberation, On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, We Drink from Our Own Wells, The God of Life," and many other books. He teaches at the University of Notre Dame. Gerhard Ludwig Muller was ordained as a priest in 1971. After teaching dogmatic theology in Munich, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg. In 2012 he was appointed Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was named a Cardinal in 2014.
Reviews - What do customers think about On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent?
Asks the hard questions Jul 25, 2006
In his book, On Job: God-talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, Gustavo Gutiérrez, an innovator of Latin American Liberation Theology, tries to discover the meaning of the Book of Job and how it can contribute to both how we talk about God and how we approach the reality of human suffering, in particularly, the suffering of the innocent. Gutiérrez shows readers how Job's experiences gradually cause him to doubt the theory of retribution and to evolve in his understanding of God's freedom, love, justice and gratuitousness.
Gutiérrez helps us to understand how difficult it is to talk about God when the innocent suffer and how empty theology sounds when it refuses to speak from the harsh realities of life. Gutiérrez incorporates the works of various scholars, priests, playwrights, teachers, theologians and Latin American poets to help readers understand his approach to the topic. Gutiérrez thoroughly analyzes the deep messages to be found in the Book of Job and concludes by challenging Christians to use the insights found in its text to contemplate God's gratuitousness and live in accordance with its demands as we seek to help the plight of the innocent sufferers in the world.
Gutiérrez believes that Job's suffering has made him more conscious of other innocent sufferers. Gutiérrez also insists that God's justice can only be understood in the light of God's gratuitousness. He insists that the world turns on God's gratuitousness, not the theory of retribution. Gutiérrez also insists that those who suffer and talk (or complain) about God with honesty may actually be more pleasing to God than those who, like Job's friends, worship and obey God out of self-interested hope of reward or fear of punishment. Gutiérrez insists that abstract talk of God and his love is not profitable unless it speaks from an honest and deep consideration of the most desperate of human conditions and a deep contemplation of the plan, justice and gratuitousness of God.
From the outset, Gutiérrez informs readers that his approach is rooted in his experience with the social injustices he has witnessed in Latin America and that his goal is to find in the Book of Job insights, answers and approaches that will help us to "speak well of God" in the face of the harsh realities of life. I think that Gutiérrez has succeeded in his goal.
I commend Gutiérrez for taking on the challenge of one of the Bible's most difficult texts, especially one that deals with the hardest of human questions: Why do the innocent suffer? Amazingly, Gutiérrez has taken on the challenge and provides readers with a brief,1 detailed, clear, thorough and concise book. I also commend Gutiérrez on his extensive research and his knowledge of the many points of interpretation which theologians have long debated in regards to the Book of Job. Gutiérrez also shows courage in his opposition to many of these traditional interpretations.
Since reading this book, I have learned that the self-interested religion of Job's friends is not true faith, but is instead a subtle form of idolatry in which God becomes a predictable toy controlled by human behavior. Gutiérrez helped me to see the humanity of the author of the Book of Job and how God worked through the author to create a work of art that manages to ask the hard questions about God, faith and the harsh realities of life. Gutiérrez has helped me to see the Book of Job as a work of art that does not settle for quick and easy answers about the universal human experience but instead raises uncomfortable questions that, when asked, may open people's hearts for deeper experiences with the true God. Gutiérrez has convinced me of the importance of honest prayer and contemplation of God and that to truly understand God's justice one must understand God's gratuitousness.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has questioned God's goodness in the face of human suffering. I would also recommend this book to bible study teachers (it would make for great study and discussion), seminary students, pastors, ministers, pastoral counselors, social workers, and those who seek justice for "the least of these."
Job and Liberation Theology May 11, 2006
Gustavo Gutierrez is a liberation theologian from Lima, Peru. In this book he discusses the connection between the oppression of Job and his questioning God for his plight, and the need for the poor to do the same. Job, however, does not abandon God but remains faithful. When Christ on the Cross asks God why he has abandoned him, Gutierrez reminds us that we must hear those words and respond. "Those who suffer unjustly have a right to complain and protest," he says. Jesus will not be heard if "our tongues keep quiet about what our souls believe." Yet the message of the Cross must not be forgotten and leads to salvation. "Only if we know how to be silent and involve ourselves in the suffering of the poor will we be able to speak out of their hope." To be truly involved, Gutierrez assures us, removes us from being merely "sorry comforters" - what Job accused (rightly) his friends of being. Gutierrez's book is enlightening and profound and speaks to the poor and the faithful alike.
Well written theological arguments Sep 30, 2005
Gutierrez does an excellent job analyzing the Book of Job and explaining its relevant theological messages. Of special importance is the refuting of the social darwinistic doctrine of temporal retribution (which is the belief that people are rewarded or punished during their lives based on their sins). The theological arguments are rather complex, but are explained so clearly that they are easy to understand. While Gutierrez makes a connection between the message of the Book of Job and poverty in Latin America, this theme could have been expanded upon more in the book. All in all, this book is a very interesting read and is a must for those who wish to understand the Book of Job.
"A Preferential Option for the Poor" Jun 22, 2000
I am reading G. Gutierrez's book "ON JOB:God-talk and the suffering of the innocent" for the second time this summer (2000). I find it as refreshing and guiding as the first time that I read it several years ago. Not being a theologian, nor a biblical scholar, it helped me understand the Old Testament book of JOB, which I think is challenging to understand. There are two main reasons I liked it. First, it helped me understand the essence of religion, i.e., giving praise to God, rather than the rewards and punishment that can easily be promoted by western thinking or the petitioning of God "to do our will." It also lays the basis for deep prayer - contemplation. Second, it helped me understand the plight of the poor. Until all of us recognize that each of us is broken, i.e., "poor" to some extent there will be incomplete or no peace in this world. As a public educator, I think this is an essential understanding for working with the young in our society. Gustavo Gutierrez's reflection on JOB helps us gain that understanding. In my sharing with my colleagues I express the uniqueness of the gift of "listening". It is the best gift we can give our family, friends, or students. Gutierrez helps us see how JOB is a listener - a listener to hear the will of God. In our educated ways, whether in education, theology, business, medicine, law, etc., we miss it if we don't understand the wisdom of JOB. Gutierrez can help one understand it. A quote from the text: "The men (women) are competent, even if mistaken, theologians (or put the other professions); they are convinced of their teaching but they are unaware that it has nothing to say to suffering human beings." (p.27) Often times in writings and literature reference is made to JOB, however, Gutierrez's work on JOB helps me understand the depth of the wisdom. It helps me know if the reference to JOB is correctly understood. This is not necessarily an easy book to read, but with perseverance one can gain much wisdom from it.