Christian hope and public reason
Gascoigne, R. (2009). Christian Hope and Public Reason. In N. Biggar, L. Hogan (Eds.), Religious Voices in Public Places (pp. 131-148). Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press.
This chapter is concerned with the relationship between Christian hope and public reason, especially as articulated in John Rawls's essay â€˜The Idea of Public Reason Revisitedâ€™. With reference to Matthew 25, it argues that Christian hope goes beyond history, but that Christian love is expressed within history and that this tension can be the source of a specifically Christian service to democratic societies. Hope is crucial to the ethical life of democratic societies in three particular ways: it inspires a discernment of human capacities which evokes moral virtue; maintains a conviction of the openness of the future to human striving; and teaches a certain detachment from the fruits of that striving. The chapter considers how Christian hope can serve this public political hope while at the same time maintaining a distinctively Christian identity, focussing on the use of the religious language of hope by Christians in the public political forum.
School of Theology