Jürgen Moltmann shows how theology can begin in hope and be considered as a theme in an eschatological light. He digs deep into the foundations of the hope of Christian faith and into the exercise of this hope in thought and action in the world today. The various critical discussions should not be understood as rejections and condemnations. They are necessary conversations on a common subject which is so rich that it demands continual new approaches.
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A stimulating and important book, a ‘must’ for every theological student and every preacher who wishes to become acquainted with the most significant movement in contemporary continental theology.
—The Christian Century
Jürgen Moltmann studied Christian theology in England and, after his return to Germany, in Göttingen. He served as a pastor from 1952 to 1958 in Bremen. Since 1967 he has been professor of systematic theology at the University of Tübingen and retired there in 1994. Among his many influential and award-winning books are The Theology of Hope, The Crucified God, The Trinity and the Kingdom, The Spirit of Life, and The Coming of God, winner of the Grawemeyer Award in 2000.
“Why has Christian theology allowed hope to escape it, when this is its very own, special theme?” (Page 9)
“This hope makes the Christian Church a constant disturbance in human society, seeking as the latter does to stabilize itself into a ‘continuing city’. It makes the Church the source of continual new impulses towards the realization of righteousness, freedom and humanity here in the light of the promised future that is to come. This Church is committed to ‘answer for the hope’ that is in it (1 Peter 3:15). It is called in question ‘on account of the hope and resurrection of the dead’ (Acts 23:6). Wherever that happens, Christianity embraces its true nature and becomes a witness of the future of Christ.” (Page 22)
“As long as hope does not embrace and transform the thought and action of men, it remains topsy-turvy and ineffective. Hence Christian eschatology must make the attempt to introduce hope into worldly thinking, and thought into the believing hope.” (Page 33)
“Thus despair, too, presupposes hope. ‘What we do not long for, can be the object neither of our hope nor of our despair’ (Augustine). The pain of despair surely lies in the fact that a hope is there, but no way opens up towards its fulfilment. Thus the kindled hope turns against the one who hopes and consumes him.” (Page 23)
“God reveals himself in the form of promise and in the history that is marked by promise” (Page 42)