Renowned theologian Jürgen Moltmann turned 95 on 8th April, 2021.
For decades, he has shared books, lectures, presentations and discussions that have been received and beloved by audiences far and wide. With topics ranging from the afterlife, to justice, peace and the integrity of creation, Moltmann continues to make immeasurable contributions to ongoing theological formation. He came to prominence in 1964 with the publication of Theology of Hope, which offered a message that chimed with the turbulent 1960s and the search for a better future. He got public attention when the New York Times featured his theology of hope on the front page with the caption “‘God Is Dead’ Doctrine Losing Ground to “Theology of Hope”’.
In his most recent book, Hope in These Troubled Times (2019), he offers a frank assessment of the dangers that confront humanity, and traces our steepest problems to assumptions behind the modern worldview. But he also explores the root and character of Christian hope, and he envisions the form and shape of a life-affirming spirituality, one that can inform and enliven Christian faith in imperiled times.
In chapters composed over the last five years, Moltmann includes specific discussions of the ecological crisis, the encounter of world religions, terror and violence, social justice and compassion, as well as rethinking foundational philosophical and theological questions, particularly of God, creation, and being human, in light of these challenges. “Today’s many crises put the survival of the human species and of the planet at risk. What do Christians and Christian faith have to offer?”
Since Moltmann is one of the most widely-read theologians of our time, and remains so even today, in honour of his 95th birthday, the WCC is offering Hope in These Troubled Times (2019) for free for a limited time (downloadable PDF). Definitely worth a read!
Christian hope draws the promised future of God into the present day, and prepares the present day for this future. As Immanuel Kant rightly said, thinking in the power of hope is not the train-bearer of reality: instead, it goes ahead of reality and lights its way with a torch. The historical-eschatological category is the category of the novum, that which is new: the new spirit, the new heart, the new human being, the new covenant, the new song, and ultimately, the promise: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). In light of our faith, as Christians we can honestly assess and face the full force of humanity’s contemporary challenges yet also experience and instil a realistic hope of transcending them.
Part One: Facing the Future
Part One focuses on renewing theology and reasserting hope today.
A Culture of Life in the Dangers of This Time
The Hope of the Earth: The Ecological Future of Modern Theology
A Common Earth Religion: World Religions from an Ecological Perspective
Mercy and Solidarity
The Unfinished World: Nature, Time, and the
Terrorism and Political Theology
Is the City a Place of Hope? The Urbanization of Humankind – A Challenge for Christianity
Part Two: Learning from the Past
Part Two explores the historical and theological sources of our situation and our future.
God and the Soul, God and the Senses
The Unfinished Reformation: Ecumenical Answers to Unresolved Problems
Persevering in Faith: Roots of a Theology of Hope
The Passibility or Impassibility of God
The Mystery of the Past
The Youtube link is a lecture and book launch for Hope in These Troubles Times (1.43 in length!)