Transforming hope? : a theological-ethical vision, virtue and practice for the common good

Palm, Selina (2012-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this research project is to explore whether there are convincing, contemporary theological traditions within Christianity for conceptualising a socially responsible hope for our current times that can be envisioned, embodied and enacted in our world. It uses a theological-ethical framework of hope as social vision, virtue and practice to unpack the shape of hope systematically. It draws on diverse theologians such as Jürgen Moltmann, Albert Nolan, Walter Brueggemann and Flora Keshgegian as well as the Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper to offer multi-denominational and country perspectives on the topic that point towards the social practice of this hope as a central part of the mission of the church in our world today. This project examines a range of theological arguments for a world transforming Christian hope with concrete this-worldly social implications that is not just about ‘pie in the sky when we die’. It looks for a hope that can balance the demands of an active human responsibility alongside faith in a divine presence that is capable of being incarnated into how we see, are and act as humans in the midst of actual life as it is and not just as an abstract doctrine of belief for another world. It seeks for an ecumenically endorsed hope that can enable us to be active contributors to the wider human projects of social transformation clearly needed at the start of the 21st century enabling us to interpret Christian mission as hope in action within our world.


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