The ordinary local Cameroonian just like people everywhere experiences a lot of evil and suffering in acts such as violence, abuse, murder, poverty, sicknesses, and death. But in Cameroon the experience of suffering seems more intense because of the constant blame on people and other things for causing the pain. This then makes the suffering more painful, provoking negative counter consequences.
This study attempts to explore Moltmann’s understanding of suffering in order to apply to the local Cameroonian context and give it a fresh perspective and insight that could possibly inform and/or shape a theologically grounded approach on the issue of suffering; one that could shape the traditional as well as the current theological perspective.
Methodologically, this study will attempt a fresh perspective and approach towards suffering that will enable the local Cameroonian to think and act differently when situations of evil that cause suffering arise. The study will be approached in three different ways. First, we shall probe into the Cameroonian context and be conversant with some of its practical realities; history, religion, culture, and some realities pertaining to suffering. Secondly, we shall attempt a detailed explanation of the concepts of evil and suffering in humanity and the rest of creation and touch on the issue of theodicy that remains an on-going discussion and struggle as long as evil persists in the world. Thirdly we shall delve into Moltmann’s reflection on evil and suffering as expounded in his theology of the cross as a light that may illumine as well as orient some beliefs in the local Cameroonian context. One such belief concerns the environment. Local Cameroonians are not very conscious of the natural environment, i.e. the soil, wildlife, vegetation and atmosphere. These are treated with absolute dominance due to the notion that they are there to serve human needs. Some of the evil suffering in Cameroon emanates from this view of the environment, resulting in suffering and evil that affects people and nature. As such any study of evil and suffering in the local Cameroonian context will be incomplete unless suffering in the rest of creation is taken into consideration.