Original Research

Die noodsaak om lyding, pyn, dood en boosheid tot betekenis te bring

Niekie Lamprecht
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1611 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1611 | © 2016 Niekie Lamprecht | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2016 | Published: 31 October 2016

About the author(s)

Niekie Lamprecht, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria,


To make sense of suffering was always part and parcel of being human. Although the inadequacy of theodicies to provide meaningful theoretical frameworks resulted in a focus on practical responses, in this article a case has been made for the necessity to create theoretical meaning frameworks to make sense of suffering. Brain research pointed to the brain’s fundamental need for creating and maintaining meaning frameworks in the development of purposeful responses to suffering.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Brain research and the contextualisation thereof in psychology is challenging the notion that the only adequate response to suffering is a practical response. The brain’s fundamental need for meaningful frameworks is challenging systematic and practical theology to develop theoretical frameworks to guide, motivate and evaluate the adequacy of a practical response.


Meaning creation; maintenance; pain; suffering; frameworks; palliative strategies


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