Images of Suffering in Augustine and Luther


  • Matthew Drever

    1. Matthew Drever is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Tulsa. He specializes in Protestant theology and is currently completing a manuscript entitled, “Image, Identity, and the Forming of the Augustinian Soul” (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).
    Search for more papers by this author


Abstract This article examines how images of suffering are interpreted in Augustine and Luther, using their recommendations on meditations on the suffering Christ as a case study. Augustine and Luther are ambivalent about how such images mold religious experience. On the one hand, Augustine cautions that they can distort human affections, while Luther warns that they can deceive the mind. On the other hand, meditations on images of the suffering Christ can contribute to a Christian spiritual practice that builds faith.