CHAPTER 6
The theology of hope

The title of this chapter is also the title of a book by Jürgen Moltmann — Theology of Hope — one of the best-known works of theology this century and at one time highly influential. The aim of this concluding chapter, however, is not to assess or even examine Moltmann's theology of hope. This is because it was formulated largely in the light of a perceived challenge to Christianity from an alternative Marxist analysis of history and society, a 'challenge' that must now seem somewhat passé. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1980s and the changes that China underwent in the 1990s, in short the demise of communism, it would appear that, while God is not yet dead, Marxism certainly is. Accordingly, my purpose here is not to explore the details of Moltmann's theology of hope, but the wider conceptual context within which we might try to assess the merits of any such theology. Since many of his concerns are now outdated (in my view), I shall refer to only two themes in his book that seem to me of continuing interest and relevance — the place of hope in the pursuit of understanding and the logic of promise with respect to the future. Both these ideas are important for the topic with which this chapter is concerned– the rationality of hope and its relation to the value and meaning of human life. In the course of exploring the issues that surround this theme, my further purpose is to draw together both the subjects and the conclusions of preceding chapters.

-205-

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Evil and Christian Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • New Studies in Christian Ethics *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • General Editor's Preface xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • Chapter 1 - Christian Ethics or Moral Theology? 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Real Jesus 29
  • Chapter 3 - Evil and Action 74
  • Chapter 4 - Forces of Light and Forces of Darkness 119
  • Chapter 5 - The Transformation of Evil 161
  • Chapter 6 - The Theology of Hope 205
  • Bibliography 230
  • Index 235
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