Can God Intervene?: How Religion Explains Natural Disasters



Praeger Publishers ( 2007) | English | ISBN: 0275989585 | 245 pages | PDF | 1.29 MB

The death and devastation wrought by the tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Pakistan, the mudslides in the Philippines, the tornadoes in the American Midwest, another earthquake in Indonesia - these are only the most recent "acts of God" to cause people of faith to question God's role in the physical universe. To explore various religious explanations of the tragedies inflicted by nature, the author of this book interviewed 43 prominent religious leaders across the religious spectrum: rabbis, priests, imams, monks, storefront ministers, itinerant holy people, professors, and chaplains; Jews, Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Atheists. The author asked each of them probing questions about what their religion teaches and what their faith professes about the presence of tragedy. Some feel that the forces of nature are simply impersonal, and some believe that God is omniscient but not omnipotent.

Some claim that nature is ultimately destructive because of Original Sin, some assert that the victims of natural disasters are sinners who deserve to die, and some explain that natural disasters are the result of individual and collective karma. Still others profess that God causes suffering in order to test and purify the victims. The author, an award-winning religion journalist, has extensive experience in this type of analytical journalism, and the result is a work that probes and challenges real people's beliefs about a subject that, unfortunately, touches everyone's life.

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