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Why?: Why Evil? Why Suffering? Why Death? Paperback – 20 Jun 2003

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books (20 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745951228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745951225
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,595,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Professor Russell Stannard OBE. Former Head of Physics and Astronomy at the Open University, he was a high energy physicist working at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva. A licensed lay minister in the Church of England, broadcaster on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, and award-winning author. Best known in children's publishing for the Uncle Albert trilogy (Faber, now published in 20 languages). He writes for both adults and young people about science, religion, and how the two can be related to each other.

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Format: Paperback
Russell Stannard spent his entire academic career in high energy nuclear physics - the study of the ultimate structure of matter and the properties of space and time. Now retired as Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Open University, Stannard is also a licenced lay preacher in the Church of England. In considering why evil, suffering and death exist, Stannard applies his intellect to these philosophical questions from the Christian perspective while also referring to the views of other religions, particularly about death. This book is a pleasure to read not because of Stannard's conclusions but because he acknowledges that definite conclusions cannot be reached on such matters. In addition, he makes the point that these are philosophical not religious questions, as religion is a matter of practice (not ritual) and belief is a matter of choice.

The materialist critique of religion was that man created God in his own image and attributed to a divine being qualities properly belonging to humankind itself and shrouded the rest in a mystery for the benefit of those who provided the theological framework within which God was worshipped. Stannard believes this to be an error. Any perception of God is subject to human limitations. "A God who was fully comprehensible to the human mind would be but a product of the human mind". Mystery and incomprehensibility are an integral part of the divine being. Thus "If God himself can find no alternative to suffering we can take it that there is no alternative; it is inevitable."

For those who do not share the Christian conviction that Jesus Christ rose from the dead Stannard's conclusion is unlikely to provide a satisfactory answer.
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