‘Probably the Best Kenoticism in the World’ Exploring Paul S. Fiddes’ Kenosis of Suffering Love in Dialogue with the Kenotic Theology of Denmark’s Hans Lassen Martensen

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Alistair J. Cuthbert


The aim of this article is to come to a definition of divine power as kenosis that theologically helps explain the wide spectrum of experience Christian believers have of divine power or lack thereof, ranging from divine hiddenness to signs and wonders. To this end, Paul Fiddes’ kenosis as suffering love theology is delineated, analysed, and critiqued. Certain weaknesses in the account are identified at which point Hans Lassen Martensen is introduced as an interlocutor and his kenotic theology explained and applied as a potential enhancer of Fiddes’ definition of kenosis. By situating the exploration in a kenotic definition of omnipotence within a context of spiritual conflict and evil, this nuanced account of the nature and scope of kenosis offers a very plausible articulation of divine omnipotence congruent with the current now-and-not-yet age of tension and the promised future of an eschaton free of all evil and suffering.

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Author Biography

Alistair J. Cuthbert

Revd Alistair J. Cuthbert, minister of Falkirk Baptist Church in central Scotland, has recently completed his PhD in theology at the University of St Andrews, entitled ‘Participating in Divine Conflict: Constructing a Baptist-Charismatic Theology of Spiritual Warfare in Dialogue with Paul S. Fiddes’. He is currently a St Leonard’s Postgraduate Associate at the University of St Andrews.