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The Roots of Sorrow
A Pastoral Theology of Suffering

By Phil C. Zylla

The Roots of Sorrow
Paperback, 220 pages $29.95
Published: 1st October 2012
ISBN: 9781602586321
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Practical Theology, All Theology

What are humans to do—and how should caregivers respond—when faced with the reality of anguish? The Roots of Sorrow addresses the sometimes painful questions that surround human suffering. By integrating concrete examples with personal stories of adversity and sorrow, Phil Zylla constructs a pastoral theology that situates itself within the very core of suffering. Resisting the natural tendency to flee from the pain of sorrow, Zylla empowers professionals to help others face suffering directly and honestly.

Part I
Introduction: The Roots of Sorrow
1. Common Explanations of Suffering
2. Components of a Theology of Suffering

Part II
3. From Silence to Lament
4. From Indifference to Compassion
5. From Loneliness to Community

Part III
6. The Suffering of Creation
7. The Subtle Persistence of Hope
Conclusion: Ministry with the Afflicted


"Phil Zylla shows a unique ability to create a tapestry that weaves together a theology of suffering with a substantive approach to pastoral care and an understanding of the actual experience of pain."

—Rod Wilson, President, Regent College

"The Roots of Sorrow is as competent theologically as it is courageous pastorally. Zylla exposes the roots of sorrow with unflinching honesty, compassion, and hope. A rare book of profound and practical wisdom."

—Margaret Whipp, Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford, UK

"A beautifully conceived and thoughtfully written book. Zylla's theological reflections emerge from a deep personal wrestling with the devastating realities of human suffering."

—Donald Capps, Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

"This is one of those rare volumes that is deeply grounded in the lived reality of human beings and, at the same time, offers vibrant examples of rigorous theological reflection and hope. All will learn more of the patient presence required for those who are called to minister to the afflicted."

—David Hogue, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Phil C. Zylla is Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he teaches on pastoral care and the theology of suffering. He has served several churches as a senior pastor and is the author of Virtue as Consent to Being. He lives in Ontario.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 220 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL067000, REL070000
 Baylor University Press

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