Gorecki’s Third Symphony and Suffering:
A Theological Analysis

Robert Kazinski




A Neo-Reformed/ Neo-Orthodox approach: Karl Barth and “Das Nichtige”

Process Theology and Theodicy: A. N. Whitehead and M.H. Suchocki

A Hickian Interlude: Suffering and the Theodicy of John Hick

A Liberation Theology Perspective: Gustavo Gutierrez, and Edward Schillebeeckx

Situation Theological Analysis

Appendix I



Christian leaders are being asked to play many more roles as ever before.  Many of these roles are beyond the training and expertise of the pastor, though she/he is still expected to have some answer due to his/her role of leader.  Among the most frequent amateur “cap” the pastor is asked to wear is the physician or psychologist.   Yet, outside of a class or two in pastoral counseling in Seminary, ministers are really speaking beyond their realm of specialty.  Most competent pastors will acknowledge that it is not their role to be a long term therapist for one who is suffering, but rather is there to offer immediate care.  Despite this limited, yet essential role, it is incumbent upon the pastor[1] to enable the one who is suffering to understand the tragedy.  As a Christian then, this means to witness the tragedy in light of death and life, illuminated in part by the gospel of Christ. 

Not all forms of theological or religious beliefs find a problem in the presence of suffering in God’s world.  A dualistic faith, for example, would realize that evil and suffering come from an “evil principle” which stands in contrast to one that is good.  Being that Christianity is monotheistic though, we have to acknowledge (traditionally speaking) that suffering and evil come way by the influence of the one God whom we worship.  Of course this problem becomes even more problematic when we consider the nature of God in the New Testament. The God that was revealed in Jesus Christ, who demonstrated love par excellence.  Christianity certainly has a problem attempting to reconcile a God with a loving nature and who has absolute power, with a contradictory notion of evil and suffering ever-present in the world.   As Daniel Day Williams states, “When tested for finite standards for benevolence, the God of tradition failed miserably.  The strategy devised to protect the ascription of benevolence to God ironically lead to an admission of God’s inscrutability. And if God is inscrutably benevolent, has anything been said at all?”[2]

In Henryk Misolov Gorecki’s third symphony, we witness three extended arias of differing females who are struck with suffering and grief.[3]  The latter two were written to express  the suffering and grief of the individuals who underwent the Nazi campaign of genocide.  The women lament in differing ways but all, in some way, express the suffering that has been imposed by the absolute evil of humanity.  The second aria lyric clearly demonstrates an appeal to religion, which demonstrates Mary (the mother of Christ) crying for the children of earth.  We can also imagine the woman in the third aria lyric bringing her plea to God directly.  The ultimate question that has to be answered to these women is why there is evil, an evil as dreadful as the holocaust, in the world.[4]

Of course there are many questions that are raised before we even begin to answer the aforementioned question such as; what is the traditional meaning of Omnipotence? What is evil?  How does free will effect the “big picture” of suffering and evil.  All of these questions will be addressed to some degree in the following pages.  The overall attempt of this analysis will be to explore the traditional (and less than traditional) theological answers to the problem of evil and the suffering that is brought about as a result.

A Neo-Reformed/ Neo-Orthodox approach:  Karl Barth and “Das Nichtige”

Karl Barth is acknowledged to be one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century.  His Neo-Orthodox/Neo-Reformed approach has been championed by many, disavowed by others, but no one can deny his impact on twentieth century Christian theology. 

While it is true that Barth completed an exhaustive account of Christian belief (at least with in the tradition of the Reformed church), he did not systematically consider the problem of evil or Theodicy as such in his writings.  The closest consideration we have to a proposed “theory of evil” lies in his concept of Das Nichtige (loosely translated as nothingness) which was explored in the third volume of his Church Dogmatics  (CD).  Barth’s intention with Das Nichtige was not to take up the role of evil for the first and definitive time, per say.  Rather, he sought to provide a “clarity of the role of evil within the creation experience as it deals with the shadowside (Schattenseite) of the created world.”[5]

We will begin our analysis of the concept of Schattenseite even though it is not evil per say.  Schattenseitte is appropriate as a starting point because it is the means by which evil becomes tangible in existence, and hence a reality.  Schattenseite or “Shadowside” of creation is the “negative aspect of the universe.  It has often been mistakenly identified with Das Nichtige (nothingness or pure evil) in a strong sense, but it truly has a different status as a necessary antithesis within the total creative world which the creator saw to be ‘very good.’”[6]   The Shadowside is essential and necessary for all created beings, according to Barth, and is brought froth from God’s creative action from  God’s  “negative side” and “positive will”.   This, as opposed to absolutely good creation which is created from God’s “positive side” and “positive will”. Yet while this creation or Shadowside is negative or imperfect, so to say, it is still very usable and in that case is somewhat good.[7] 

Barth explains that God created this shadowside because in every created being, there must be a yes and a no, “not only a height but an abyss, not only clarity but obscurity…yet it is irrefutable that creation and creature are good even in the fact that all exist in contrast and antitheses.”[8]  So every created being has this negative or antithetical aspect in them.  It was necessary for God to create this aspect of humanity.  One can think of the creation of Schattenseite as very similar to the creation of “nonbeing” in Paul Tillich’s ontology.   It has to be stressed though that this Shadowside is not evil, in and of itself.  Rather it is value neutral and is the means by which evil influences humanity.  For instance, Barth cites disease and bodily pain as an result of the shadowside of humanity.  In and of themselves they are not evil despite the labels we would attach to them, rather they are value neutral (neither good nor bad). Philosopher John Hick concludes that Barth notion of the Shadowside is akin to “metaphysical evil”  which puts created beings on the “verge of collapse into non-being”[9] but this according to Barth is what keeps us dependent on the perfect, divine being which is not “nothing” but is something which secures us.  So, as alluded to before, the shadowside is not the opposite of God’s will, but “is fulfilled and confirmed in it”[10]  Yet if it becomes affected by Das Nichtige, it is sinful.   It is when this Schattenseite operates from  Das Nichtige that we see witness cruelty, wickedness,  and evil in the world.

Barth’s discussion of the problem of evil in CDIII/3 begins from an existential or praxis oriented position.  At the outset, Barth relates evil to nothingness, especially when set in contrast to divine providence. According to Barth, nothingness is “not only inimical to the creature and its nature and existence, but above all to God himself and his will and purpose.”[11]

Das Nichtige was created from that which God has separated himself and is what God rejects outright.  Barth states, “God wills and therefore opposes what he does not will, He says ‘yes’ and therefore says ‘no’ to that which He has not said Yes.  He works according to his purpose and in so doing, rejects and dismisses all that gainsays it.”[12]  So good is brought into existence by God’s will to bring forth a good universe and by willing this good creation, God has thus unwilled its opposite and this is what becomes Das Nichtige.  This breed of nothingness is what lies in opposition to God.

It is important to realize that this Nothingness has definite being in the universe. Barth explicitly states, “Das Nichtige ist nicht das Nichts” (Nothingness is not nothing).  It has a definite ontic quality in that it is evil.  “What God does not will and therefore negates and rejects, what can thus only be the object of His opus alienum, of His jealousy, and wrath, is a being that refuses and resists and is adverse to grace, hence nothingness.” [13] This Nothingness is in the world as we know it and constantly strives to undermine the purpose of God.  This Das Nichtige takes advantage of what makes us limited (Schattenseite) and influences us to act under pure evil.  This is how Das Nichtige (or evil) becomes tangible and enters the world, according to Barth.

In true Barthian fashion, this whole creation of the Schattenseite and is potential to be corrupted by Das Nichtige, is kept in view of the Christological framework he will produce and the “Doctrine of Reconciliation” (CD IV.1 &2).  So because  Christ participated in the Shadowside of creation, being limited as thus is really not a reason to be dismayed.  Rather, it should be a “cause for rejoicing, for it is out of such that God brings light and life back to creation.”[14]  In the end God, through Christ has defeated Das Nichtige in the form of sin, but we, as created beings, are living in a world that is between the time of Christ’s incarnation and coming again.  In that way, it seems as if Das Nichtige has won, but in the end, we must realize the Christ is the victor over all Nothingness.

Process Theology and Theodicy:  A. N. Whitehead and M.H. Suchocki

In recent years, Process theology has become popular especially when looking at the issue of suffering and Theodicy.  This view generally assumes the position of one God who is not “omnipotent”, but does set goals for humans in order to persuade them to actualize themselves.  In the end, God is persuasive and powerful, but it is up to humans to shape the way the world operates.  The movement of process philosophy actually began with the work of Alfred North Whitehead and then followed upon by others in the field, including John Cobb and Marjorie Souchocki.  We will begin to examine some aspects of evil in Process thought by first looking at the philosophy of  Whitehead and then conclude with the systematic approach by Souchocki.

According to Whitehead, categories are intrinsically relative and because of that, everything must be considered in subjective terms of its own becoming as well as objectively against the universe (which is affected by becoming).   The universe and the entity being considered are actual, and as they are actual, they are finite through the selection of data (past) for the inclusion of its immediate future.[15] In the act of determining the multiple options, some concrete value must be negated as incompatible with the entities’ present.  So, some values are positively prehended and others are negatively prehended.  According to Whitehead, if negative prehension’s is carried to an extreme, there becomes a danger of the “evil of trivilization" in which the entity refuses to see that it is relational.[16]  Accordingly Souchocki states that a “drastic use of negation in  relation to the data of the past narrows the alternatives for what one can become” which ultimately affects the future of all.[17]  Similarly, if one is too open to the past and is confronted with too many options, one may fall into the trap of the “evil of discord”.  Whitehead holds that there must be a balance between all negative and positive prehensions in an entity.[18] 

According to Whitehead, existence is not value free or neutral, rather it is weighted to the good.  In and of itself, the general tendency for “actuality is toward that which it measures as Good; in and for its relationships with others, this goodness becomes qualified so that degrees of goodness and evil become applicable to the valuation of the entity.”[19]So when we consider the entities’ becoming and it’s effect on its relations; two poles are developed “which must be taken together in a Whiteheadean understanding of good and evil.”[20]  In the end, the entity’s goodness can be derived based on the value to the entity alone and its relationships.  So Souchocki states of Whiteheads’ system, “Since and entity aims at intensity of signifigance for itself (insofar as this aim is fostered by the possibilities made available to it by another) that other entity, in this relationship, is good; insofar as its aim is hindered by the other, that other, in this relationship, is deemed evil.”[21]

Taking what we have already learned form Whitehead’s philosophical system, we can now clearly explicate Souchocki’s theological model of evil.  Souchocki, following suit from Whitehead’s system, recognizes that humans are responsible for the evil in the world, and that evil (or the demonic) is part of the society which we inherited.[22] Yet, much like Whitehead alluded to before, we are responsible for the society which we create because of our relationality and our influence on society. 

According to Souchocki, “the demonic” influences the individual through coercion, conformity, and negative images which continually justify the demonic in the individual.[23] Simply speaking, it is much easier to conform to the powerful negative aspects of society (the demonic) which have been reinforced by the past, rather than assert against it.  The concept of “Sin”, is acting upon this demonic element and is labeled as such because responsibility is still incumbent upon the individual.  So the sin that is created, is a sin against the self and others because as an individual, our actions determine our own becoming and influence the becoming of society.   Sin reinforces the demonic element in society and in the end “is based upon and requires a distortion of the nature of existence [which is relational].”[24]  Souchocki believes that the result is the “absolutizing of the self” [or evil of trivilization] or “distortion” [evil of discord] which potentially influence and reinforce all evil present in our world.[25]  As stated earlier, because God has created humans with freedom and is admittedly not omnipotent, evil and sin can be conceived as purely human constructs in the process model.

John Hick has criticized the process approach on the fact that its theology amounts to nothing than a “denial of the existence of the problem.  That is, the qualifying of God’s power relieves us of the task of trying to reconcile the presence of suffering with a God who has the power to relieve it, but is not willing to exercise the power.”[26]  This statement rings true outright, but it seems that what is at issue in the end is not really power but purpose for Process Theology.  As Wetherhead put it, “God’s power is not put forward to get certain things done, but to get them done in a certain way, with certain results in the lives who do them.”

A Hickian Interlude:  Suffering and the Theodicy of John Hick

Much has already been said about the Philosopher John Hick, and his critiques of the models already presented.  Hick is more than a mere critic though, for he himself has written extensively on the subject of Theodicy and suffering and presents some of his own conclusions.  Briefly, we will consider his position before turning to the Liberation Theology approach.

Hick believes that Humans were created limited or imperfect. [27]  Following on the work of Flew, Mackie, and Smart, he acknowledges that this had to be necessary for humans to have absolute freedom.  To Hick, “God must set man at a distance from himself from which he can then voluntarily come to God.”[28] So Hick recreates much of the creation narrative, which he claims still upholds the meaning of the Biblical tradition.   To Hick, humans were not created in a “finished state” but are “still in process of creation”. [29]  Humans then were created in two stages, first of humankind ‘in the image’ and then in the ‘likeness’ of God”.  But though humans are created as unfinished, we have the potential to finish ourselves, via our freedom to act “spiritually, religiously, morally” or vice versa.[30] Yet, like in Process Theology, there seems to be a “lure” toward the good.  Hick states, the person must “center his life upon himself, even though he then immediately begins to feel, in a dim sense of moral demand and holy claim, the pressure upon his spirit of his unseen creator.”[31]  It all comes down to the choices we make through our freedom.[32]     

From here we can easily see why Sin and evil arise in our world.  Humans have the freedom of choice to follow God or to be against and alienated from God. The choice to be against God is the choice to live in sin and follow evil or the “demonic” as Hick likes to put it.  Suffering, and pain in Hick’s grand scheme is all part of becoming in that it is necessary for “soul making”.  According to Hick, pain, evil, and suffering are what makes the individual soul strong, and challenged, with the end result being growth.[33] From here Hick can moves easily explain the role of “natural evil” in the world as it is an environment which “stimulates growth” toward maturity.[34]  Yet the struggle and growth  is not “all for nothing”, per say.  Hick argues an eschatological element in his Theodicy with his belief that the human “in process will eventually lead to a perfect community” that is not to be completed here on earth.[35] 

While Hick’s propositions seem insightful one can have trouble finding where God is in the whole process of becoming.  Is God just watching all of the pain and suffering and see it as “growing pains” which the creation must endure?  A possible resolve may be an insertion of a Christology in this framework, as Edward Schillebeeckx has done, but having Hick’s philosophical/theological dispositions, this resolve is somewhat untenable.

A Liberation Theology Perspective: Gustavo Gutierrez, and Edward Schillebeeckx

Liberation theology takes seriously the event of Christ’s encounter in the world, and his strife for justice, equality, and love.  In like fashion, Liberation theologians take seriously the suffering experiences of marginalized groups in the world.  Liberation theology is a very context-praxis driven theology, which means that it is often suited to the particular situation or suffering at the time.  

For Liberation Theologian Gustavo Gutierrez, suffering results from political, economic, and social exploitation.  Suffering is caused by injustice and poverty which leads to the destruction of humanity.[36]  Gutierrez is especially concerned with the historical context of suffering as found in poverty, hunger, and discrimination, which leads him to develop a theological “preference for the poor”.[37]  He believes the poor and oppressed “irrupt in history as a revelation of a contrast situation, a disclosure of contradiction that ruptures history itself.”[38] Those who are not oppressed attempt to “distance themselves” from the poor and oppressed and ignore the suffering outright.[39]  This, of course, only leads to heightened oppression, discrimination, and suffering. 

The purpose of theology to Gutierrez is to Liberate the poor from all suffering and oppression.[40]  Traditional theodicies are highly criticized by Liberation Theology as the suffering, and oppression that is encountered by the poor is often unmerited.  What’s more, rather than offering a more conciliatory model of suffering and evil, Liberation Theologies tend to strike at the root cause of what they perceive to be the cause of suffering, i.e. the socio-political forces that cause the evil toward the poor.[41]

One can locate God  in this view in the midst of the suffers, for God himself is committed to the poor and the suffers in this view.  And it is from this stance, where a strong Christology is formed in Liberation Theology.  As Lucien Richard put it ,

“Jesus is the model and symbol of opposition to poverty and suffering. The salvation brought about by Jesus embraces the whole of reality and implies and opposition to whatever is an obstacle to full humanity.  Jesus liberates form the very rook  of social injustice….in his liberative and prophetic actions, Jesus is a revelation and a symbol of God.  God is a God who saves us not through domination, but suffering.[42]

So Christology, especially the event of cross, become the central symbols of God’s revelation and love.   Because Jesus underwent pain and suffering himself due to oppression, yet saved us all because of this sin, Jesus becomes the focal point of all who are oppressed and strive for liberation.[43]  As Gutierrez has aptly put it, “liberation is another word for salvation.”[44]

While Gutierrez is commonly known as the “father of Liberation Theology”, other theologians from differing areas of the world have also realized the potential of this type of theology in explaining evil and suffering.  Belgian theologian Edward Schillebeeckx also believes (with most Liberation theologians) that theory or philosophy must flow from practice.  “Our faith is a practical faith in that is does something in human history,” he states.[45]

In a way not unlike John Hick, Schillebeeckx views suffering as an integral part of human life that causes people to constantly reflect on the significance of God and of faith.  Humans have the choice to move to or away from God, and so in like fashion, suffering has its cause in human sinfulness. Schillenbeeckx rejects all notions that state that God is the cause of human suffering by God’s “will”.   In a way strikingly similar to Hick, Schilebeeckx states, “God’s permissive will has no theoretical meaning as an explanation: it simply describes the dead end of human thinking when it is confronted but the incomprehensibility of human suffering.”[46]  In the end,  humans are the cause for suffering because humans are limited and sinful, according to Schillebeeckx.  What’s more, God in the form of Jesus Christ, actually rejects suffering, oppression, and discrimination.[47] 

Being that this type of theology is a praxis oriented approach, it calls for all those who follow God’s will to reject all situations which bring about suffering and pain.[48]  The challenge is then, not to accept the evils, in which we all participate, but to act against them.  Schillebeeckx says, “Suffering through and for others, to which our faith bears witness, can therefore be seen as an expression of the unconditional validity of a praxis of doing good and resistance to evil and innocent suffering.  The man who does not limit his commitment to the suffering of others in any way is bound to pay for it sooner or later with his own death.”[49]  So by taking responsibility for evil in the world, humanity has a true basis for transformation in the world.  The evils in the world, according the Schillebeeckx, then are the result of our evil as humans.  From here, Schilebeeckx can now appropriately present a soteriology that is both individual and social.  Social, because social liberation is integral to God’s salvation.[50]  In the end, humans experience salvation in other humans, for it is through caring and loving that humans receive the salvation of God[51] 

Situation Theological Analysis

After this lengthy description of the multiple approaches to which theological schools have answered the problem and suffering, we will now turn to the specific aria’s presented at the outset .  What we will try to locate here is the most appropriate theological answer to the problem of evil specifically found in the Holocaust of World War II.

At the outset, we find that all the positions proposed above do adequately answer the problem of evil within their framework.  This is especially true when we look at evil as a personal/individual act or sin on a “small scale”, if there is such a thing.  But the problem of evil seen in the events of World War Two and the massacre of the Jewish and other oppressed groups present a much more complex question.  How can such corporate evil be fostered and edified by humanity and allowed by a God of love? 

The question above is especially relevant when we consider the work of Karl Barth and his concept of evil as Das Nichtige.  As we have noted above, Das Nichtige, influences the Shadowside of humanity which makes the concept of evil, real and tangible to the world.  This explanation does well to explain the influence of “nothingness” on the single individual person and how that individual person may become oppressive or evil.  What this concept is not as adequate at  explaining is how evil (Das Nichtige) becomes corporate or widespread throughout society. 

Throughout the third volume of the Church Dogmatics (3.3),  Barth has no description of widespread evil apart from  his explanation of “natural evil”, which he attributes to Schattenseite.  Yet one can hardly call the Holocaust “natural evil” or, much worse,  “good” what Barth resolves Schattenseite to be.    In the end, Barth’s concept of evil cannot explain mass atrocities or evil which has occurred in the Holocaust,  and so would prove to be fruitless in the situation we have seen in the work we are analyzing.

John Hick’s proposition does address the problem of corporate evil as a “demonic element” but in the end, he resolved that most evil was a mystery.[52]  The major problem with Hick’s approach to the problem of evil is his view of suffering and evil (even at a the corporate level) as “soul making” or necessary for progression. To Hick, the presence of evil and suffering in the world make the individual’s soul strong, and “more mature”. So,  it seems there is almost an assumption that the more you suffer or are affected by evil, the more “well endowed” your soul will become.  The reward of this suffering and experience of evil is the eternal bliss of the soul in the afterlife.  So the Holocaust, in a strange and perverted way, can be viewed as “good for humanity”  because it led to the strengthening of the soul of humankind, and the tragedy led to the realization of the “worst that humans can do”..  While these realizations have brought some positive results in the end, they are not significant when considering the horrors Holocaust.

The resolve that is especially appropriate to answer the type of evil found in the Holocaust is best explained in the concept of evil proposed by Process theology and in elements of Liberation theology.  As stated above, Process theology (as exemplified in Souchocki) finds that the evil we succumb to as an individual and society was fixed long before our time on earth.  Evil is part of the world we inherited, is constantly reinforced which influences individual’s to conform to the demonic.  Evil can be tangibly viewed at a corporate level then as the oppression, discrimination, and alienation of certain groups in a society that fosters injustice.  In the Holocaust example found in the aria’s of the symphony, this is specific with the certain group of Pole’s marginalized and then killed by the Nazi’s in the concentration camps.

Evil, as explained by Process theology, is explicitly manifest in the whole ideology of Nazi Germany, which reinforced the message of discrimination, hate, and intolerance against the Jewish community.  As part of Process theology, of course, this marginalizatoin of the Jewish community did not begin with the Nazi’s or their societal beliefs.  The Jewish culture has been discriminated against for centuries and so the cues  from each successive generation have been reinforced throughout the centuries.  The “demonic”, though, was made evident to the world in Second World War in Germany.  The genocide that occurred by the Nazi’s can be considered the evil of trivilizatoin taken to an extreme, and is good example how one person (Hitler) can affect the becoming of many.

As stated above, a Christian response needs to resolve the problem of corporate evil and suffering in the light of the Gospel message proclaimed by Christ as God for humanity.   Both, Liberation theology as well as Process Christology take seriously the event of Christ’s encounter in the world as against all that breeds contempt.  For instance Jesus, in the Liberation approach, is the symbol and model of the opposition to all forms of injustice, discrimination, genocide, and oppression found in events such as the Holocaust.  Jesus, the acknowledged Son of God, underwent this oppression (in Liberation theology) and injustice and defeated it with his resurrection, which is a symbol a life that defeated injustice and oppression. 

In a slightly different way, Process theology acknowledges a Jesus and then God who is against injustice and oppression of all types. According to Souchocki, the mission and message of Jesus was full of “reversals” that overturned the established, oppressive elements in society.  What's more Jesus represents a novel, concrete manifestation of a new society to which God calls humanity.[53]       She says, “The reign of God is the full love that is justice, not simply in personal relations, but in the depths of a society structured according to patterns of inclusive well-being.  To see the life of Jesus as God with us, is to lift all that we see in that revelation to ultimacy.”[54]  Christ is the God with us, in Souchocki’s theology, and was also the ultimate Process practitioner who showed the world a society free of the demonic.  What is presented by Jesus, in Process thought,  is a word where harmony and love reign free.  It is a world absent of genocide’s, oppression, discrimination,  and atrocities.  What will be upheld is a society where harmony, creation, and well being is fostered everafter.


Appendix I

Movement I: Song (Lamentation of the Holy Cross Monestary (Circa 1425)

Synky mily I wrbrany                                 My Son, chosen and loved,

Rozdziek z matka sworje rany                           Let your mother share your wounds

A wszakom cie, synky mily,                            And since my dear son.

/w swem sercu nosila                                     I have always kept you in my heart,

a takiez tobie wiernie sluzya                       and loyally served you,

przemow k matce                                                  speak to your mother,

byc sie ucieszyla,                                                 make her happy,

bo juz jidziesz ode mnie,                                       though my dear hope,

moja nadzieja mila.                                        You are now leaving me.


Movement II. Prayer of the eighteen year old Helena Blazusiakowna, inscribed on the wall of a Gestapo cell in Zakopane

Mamo, nie placz, nie,                                          Mother, No, do not cry,

Nieblos prezecysta krolowo,                 Queen of heaven most chaste

Ty zawsze wspierja mnie.                                       Help me always.

Zdwowas mario                                                    Hail Mary.


Movement III. Folk- song from the Opole Region

Kajze mi sie podziol                                   Where has he gone

Moj synocek Mily?                                      My dearest son?

Pewnie go w powstaniu                                             Killed by the harsh enemy, perhaps,

Zle wrogi zabily.                                                   In the rebellion.

Wy niecobrazy luzi                                          You bad people,

Dlo boga swietgo                                                 in the name of the Holy God

Cemuscie zabili                                                     Tell me why you killed

Synocka mojego?                                                 My dear son?


Zodnej jo podory                                                 Never more

Juz nie byda miala                                                will I have his protection

Chocbych moje stare                                       Even if I weep

Ocy wyplankala                                                    My old eyes away

Chocby z mych lez gorzkich                           or if my bitter tears            

Drugo Odra byla,                                                 were to make another oder,

Jesce by synocka                                                 They would not bring back

Mi nie ozywila.                                                     My son to life


Lezy on tam w grobie                                     he lies in the grave

A jo nie wiem kandy,                                    I know not where

Choc sie opytuja                                                  though I ask people

Miedzy ludzmi wsandy.                                 Everywhere

Moze nieborocek                                                 Perhaps the poor boy

Lezy kaj w dolecku                                  lies in a rough trench

A moglby se lygac                                      Instead of lying, as he might,

Na swoim przypiecku                                             in a warm bed.


Ej, cwierkejcie mu tam,                                         Sing for him,

Wy ptoseki boze                                                  little song-birds of God,

Kiedy mamulicka                                                  for his mother

Znaleze go nie moze                                       cannot find him

A ty boze kwiecie,                                  and God’s little flowers,

Kwitnijze w okolo                                 May you bloom all around

Niechsie synockowi                                             so that my son

Choc lezy wesolo                                                 may sleep happy

[1] For the purposes of this analysis, Pastor, Priest, minister, will be limited to leaders in the Christian type of religion.  It is true that other religions also deal with similar problems, such as Theodicy and the problem of evil and all have well defined answers.  Being this is a personal analysis, Christian literature be used, though the reader should be well advised that other religions have perspectives on this one problem.

[2] Williams, Daniel Day found in Richmond, K. Preaching to Sufferers. (Nashville. Abington, 1988)  36

[3] Please see Appendix I for Aria lyrics

[4] please listen to track 3 of symphony and read  Appendix II for review of work.

[5] Rodin, R. Scott  Evil and the Theodicy of Karl Barth (New York. Peter Lang, 1997)  181 – Italics mine

[6] Hick, John  Evil and the God of Love (New York. Harper, 1966)    136

[7] Barth, Karl  Church Dogmatics Vol 3.3, trans. G.W. Bromiley (Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 1969) 351-352

[8] ibid 296-7

[9] Hick, John  Evil and the God of Love  (New York. Harper, 1966)   135

[10] Barth Karl   Church Dogmatics Vol 3.3  (Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 1969) 296

[11] ibid 289

[12] ibid 311

[13] ibid 353

[14] Rodin, R. Scott Evil and Theodicy in the Theology of  Karl Barth (New York. Peter Lang, 1997) p. 189

[15] Suchocki, M. H. The End of Evil: Process Eschatology (Albany. SUNY, 1988) 62-3

[16] ibid 65

[17] ibid 65

[18] ibid 65

[19] ibid 69

[20] ibid 69

[21] ibid 79

[22] Souchocki, M.H. God, Christ, Church (New York. Crossroads, 1999)  15

[23] ibid 17

[24] ibid 26

[25] ibid 26-27

[26] Hick, John , “An Ireanean Theodicy” in Encountering Evil, ed. S. Davis (Atlanta: John Knox. 1981) 122

[27] Hick John, Evil and the God of Love (San Francisco, Harper. 1966) 311

[28] ibid 317

[29] ibid 321-322

[30] ibid 322

[31] ibid 323

[32] ibid 321-323

[33] ibid 370

[34] ibid 350-356

[35] ibid 350-356

[36] Gutierrez, Gustavo Essential Writings. (New York. Maryknoll, 1996) 25

[37] ibid 143-144

[38] ibid 123-4

[39] ibid 123-4

[40] ibid 144

[41] ibid  2-5

[42] Richard, Lucien What Are They Saying about the Theology of Suffering (New York; Paulist 1992)  97

[43] Gutierrez, Gustavo Essential Writings (New York. Maryknoll, 1996) 184

[44] ibid  184

[45] Schillebeeckx, E. A Schillebeeckx Reader (New York. Crossroad, 1984) 260

[46] ibid  51

[47] ibid 51-54

[48] ibid 51-54

[49] Schillebeeckx, E. The Language of Faith (New York, Maryknoll, 1995) p 195

[50] Schillebeeckx Edward.  A Schillebeeckx Reader (New York, Crossroads) pp. 174-179

[51] ibid  174-176

[52] Hick, John. Evil and the God of Love (San Francisco. Harper, 1966) 360-363

[53] Souchocki, M.H.   God, Christ, Church  (New York. Crossroad, 1999)  97-8

[54] ibid 98