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An article for Theology Today.


The author employs Thomas Aquinas’s conception of divine existence in order to characterize creaturely being as contingent rather than necessary, and suffering as participatory rather than isolating. In this way, the article disputes both the narratives of necessity inherent within medical appropriations of immanent causality and the views of Suffering that warrant practices of technological desperation. The author relates the story of one family’s illness, through interspersed eulogy, and highlights how technological mastery imposes indictments of ethical “responsibility.” The author concludes by showing how baptism and the Eucharist offer narratives that might resist such imposition.

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