Viktor Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor, once said that to be human is to suffer. Suffering is an unavoidable part of life, but how do we engage our suffering in a culture that teaches us to avoid suffering at all costs? Through the telling of two stories, the horrific death of his parents and the exiled Judeans of the sixth century BCE, Chris Williams
offers a way of engaging suffering that questions the dominant voices of popular culture. Perhaps hope is not found in avoiding suffering at all costs, but by inviting others into our darkest moments.
is professor of history at Swansea University.