Jesus' Cry of Lament: Towards a True Apophaticism

Henry Novello

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The lament speech form is an integral part of Israel's faith and liturgy, yet its significance has not been adequately accounted for in Christian liturgy and theology. This is astonishing given that Jesus' resurrection is God's response to his lament on the cross. Jesus' cry radicalizes Israel's practice of lament, yet at the same time his lament contains the distinct aspects of revealing a trinitarian kenosis of God and portraying the crucified one as the new locus of encounter with God, all of which highlights the need to give prominence to an apophatic theology. Given the saving significance of Jesus' suffering, our suffering, as taken up into the history of God, is to be viewed as a mode of God's presence; it is not only a condition from which to be delivered but the means by which the hope of a 'new creation' will be realized. Jesus' cry also discloses a complex threefold character to his suffering, which calls for a radical discipleship conceived as participation in the kenosis of the crucified one, who is in complete solidarity with all aspects of suffering humanity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-60
    Number of pages23
    JournalIrish Theological Quarterly
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


    • apophatic theology
    • hope
    • kenosis
    • lament
    • mystery
    • resurrection


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