2021-05-16Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1111/moth.12710
Between Promise and Ecstasy: Hope as a Subject of an Engaged Theology
This article outlines a socially-engaged theology that retrieves hope as an essential theological concept. The argument focuses not so much on the specific orientation that a socially engaged theology might take, but more on its motives. Here two notions of hope need to be distinguished: the hope that is future-oriented (hoping that . . .) and the act of hoping as a mode of being in the world (to live in hope or hopefully). The first type of hope is derivative of the second, which means that the act of hoping acquires a hermeneutical privilege over the hope directed to the future. Furthermore, the distinction between ‘hoping that . . .’ and ‘living in hope’ highlights the difference between—with St. Paul—the old person and the new person who understands everything in a new light. This difference is articulated in terms of a productive dissatisfaction rooted in a life lived by faith by hope. Hope thereby turns faith into an ecstatic stance. It is this ecstasy endowed by hope that joins faith—and theology as faith’s companion—to dedicated engagement with the world.