Christian hope and public reason

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This chapter is concerned with the relationship between Christian hope and public reason, especially as articulated in John Rawls's essay ‘The Idea of Public Reason Revisited’. 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

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Book Chapter

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ERA Access