There are two forms of hopelessness. The one is arrogance or presumption (praesumptio). The other is despair, the obliteration of hope (desperatio) . In presumption we take the fulfillment of hope into our own hands, and no longer hope for God. In despair we doubt that there can ever be fulfillment, and destroy hope in ourselves. All despair presupposes hope. The pain of despair lies in the fact that hope exists, but that there appears to be no way for the hope to be fulfilled. Where hope for life is frustrated in every respect, the hope turns against the hoper and eats into him,. 'I looked for work everywhere and was always turned down, Then I got to the point when nothing more mattered', said a young burglar in Berlin. When there is no longer any prospect of meaningful life, people turn to meaningless violence: 'Destroy whatever you can destroy.' When hope dies the killing begins. Hopelessness and brutality are just two sides of the same sad coin. (p. 94).
Thursday, August 27, 2009
What does it mean to live in a state of hopelessness? Where does it lead? As I'm reading Jurgen Moltmann's In the End -- The Beginning (Fortress, 2004) in preparation for attending the Moltmann Conversation in Chicago, I came across this statement.
When we look around the world and see the increasing spread of violence -- in all in all it's forms --is there not some truth to this analysis? There is of course, arrogance involved in violence also, but in either case, there is no hope. If faith is the foundation of hope -- what does faith involve? How might people of faith be agents of healing in the world?