In this five-week course, we will look at various attempts to answer the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. Using as our guide the text from Romans Chapter 8, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”, we will take a close look at the story of Job as told in the Bible and in the history of art. We will then discuss other theological perspectives, past and recent, that attempt to explain how believers in a good and loving God can justify that faith in the face of the harsh reality of suffering and evil.
Thomas Petriano, earned his doctorate in Systematic Theology from Fordham University. In1998, he began teaching at Saint Joseph’s College NYC where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department. His courses cover a wide range of topics including World Religions, The Religions of Abraham, and a course in Buddhism which is part of the Mindfulness and Contemplative Living Minor he recently established in collaboration with the Department of Psychology. Prof. Petriano’s publications reflect his interest in spirituality in the world’s religions, and inter-faith dialogue. His most recent essay “The Power of Vulnerability,” (Human Development, Vol. 42, Summer, 2021), explores ways in which God’s grace works through our own woundedness.