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Theology of Hope Paperback – September 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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." --Langdon Gilkey, The Christian Century

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 1st Fortress Press ed edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800628241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800628246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Rich Wall on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Moltmann's Theology of Hope represents a groundbreaking work in theology.
The original German work was entitled Theologie der Hoffnung, and was
written in 1965 during the period of West German Reconstruction. In the
work, Moltmann attempts to articulate the Christian hope as a challenge to
both the desparation and the official optimism of a Reconstruction that
sought only to return to the glory days of the past rather than live in the
hope of a completely new future that comes from God, who lives not so much
above us but in front of us, drawing us into God's own future for the world.
Moltmann skillfully weaves together elements of Ernst Bloch's Prinzip der
Hoffnung (Principle of Hope), Hegel's 'Speculative Good Friday,' and the
'Death of God' theology to present the Christian hope to the post-war Europe
(and world). Thus, Moltmann's Theology of Hope has earned itself a place
among the greatest works of theology in the 20th century. The book created a
rush of interest in eschatology within theological circles, which soon took
the name 'Theology of Hope' in the later 1960's. Last year, Moltmann took up
the theme of eschatology once again in The Coming of God. It is quite
fitting that Moltmann should have returned, at the end of his theological
journey, to a theme with which he began some 35 years ago -- with the hope
of the coming God, who draws the cosmos to God's own end (purpose) for it.
We would all be well served to follow Moltmann's advice: it is not so
important to understand history from the perspective of the end, as it is to
transform it, as we live in hope (anticipation) of God's future for it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By DocTheology on August 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Moltmann is at his best in this book. Some critics have taken him to task on some of his theories, but I found the book a wonderfully rich and enjoyable analysis of hope, the differing views of hope and hope's result, and the root of the book--a theology of hope.

The book is NOT for the casual reader. It is single space and packet with material, but every page was well worth the read. I can't say I agreed with every hypothesis presented, but a book of this strength, this thickness (thick in thinking), and wide in its exploration is like so many other books. It is like eating fish, you enjoy the majority of the fish, but there will be a few bones you may wish spit out.

For a scholar, teacher, parent, and pastor who wishes to built a structure and philosophy that contains a context of hope. For anyone who wants to understand hope from a western view and eastern view (and even the more central German/Italian peoples who view context and objects as fairly equal in giving or taking away hope).

I had heard of the title for years but never got around to reading it until I was doing a series on the subject of hope. Not only are Moltmann's words refreshing and powerful, but he does an excellent job sourcing and quoting from others. My only recommendation might be (this is what I did) to read a couple reviews of the book ahead of time to gain a "picture" of the overall theme and direction of the book ahead of time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jürgen Moltmann (born 1926) is a German Protestant theologian; this was his first book.

He states in the Preface to this 1965 work, "The following efforts bear the title Theology of Hope, not because they set out once again to present eschatology as a separate doctrine ... Rather, their aim is to show how theology can set out from hope and begin to consider its theme in an eschatological light. For this reason they enquire into the ground of the hope of Christian faith and into the responsible exercise of this hope in thought and action in the world today."

Moltmann writes, "Christianity is eschatology, is hope, forward looking and forward moving ... A proper theology would therefore have to be constructed in the light of its future goal. Eschatology should not be its end, but its beginning."

"Christianity stands or falls with the reality of the raising of Jesus from the dead by God. In the New Testament there is no faith that does not start a priori with the resurrection of Jesus." Yet he later admits, "What actually happened during the experience of his crucifixion and burial and his Easter appearances, is left in the darkness of the still unknown and still hidden God." He states, "his resurrection must then be understood not as a mere return to life as such, but as a conquest of the deadliness of death---as a conquest of god-forsakenness, as a conquest of judgment and of the curse, as a beginning of the fulfillment of the promised life, and thus as a conquest of all that is dead in death, as a negation of the negative, as a negation of the negation of God.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ross James Browne on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work is a critical companion piece to Moltmann's Crucified God. Very useful for those interested in natural theology, pre-Christian saving energy, or natural salvation energy. Critical for those researching God's saving dispositions throughout history, as Moltmann explains how God and the Spirit can save anyone, anytime, before or after Christ - although this salvation energy is intended to prepare the world for Christ. Slow going,but this is the type of work where you struggle to figure out what NOT to underline. I read and reread and referred to this book so many times (in researching my own book), that my edition of Theology of Hope literally fell apart from over use. That is the sign of a very good book. A theologian could write volumes built on this work. You could write a book just based on one paragraph of this book. It is that profound, that potent, that dense. Although sometimes it feels like you are walking in neck-deep molasses with concete shoes! Be sure to bring a snorkel.
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