Jürgen Moltmann on Equality, Rights and Democracy

In Mahmoud Masaeli, Nikolaos Asproulis & Timo Slootweg (eds.), Faith in Democracy. Justice, Politics and Transcendence. Oud-Turnhout, Belgium - AS's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands: Gompel&Svacina. pp. 245-263 (2020)

In my paper, I am going to analyse some aspects of Jürgen Moltmann’s reflections on the Theology of Hope, the central position of eschatology for Christianity, the essential dimension of hope for Christian believers, and the political implications of the Theology of the Cross. I shall show that in Moltmann’s interpretation, God is primarily the God of hope and the God of the promise of the new creation. God reveals Himself as the God of the promise of resurrection for everybody, of the promise of the fulfilment of the Kingdom of God, and of the promise of the renewal of the world. The resulting emergence in Christian believers of hope connected to a promise of a completely new dimension of future entails, in Moltmann’s view, both a critical disposition of Christian believers towards the current conditions in the world and the strong intent to change the world. For Moltmann, Christian theology is therefore essentially a theology implying precise political visions which consist in fighting against any form of oppression. Christianity is (and, actually, ought to always be) directed towards the defence and the liberation of the oppressed, the poor, and the humiliated. Furthermore, Moltmann interprets the Theology of the Cross as the manifestation of God’s option for the oppressed. Christ’s incarnation and Christ’s whole life bear witness to the fact that the Son is for the oppressed: Christ’s passion means that Christ is the neighbour of all humiliated people. Christ’s resurrection is God’s manifestation that injustice and death will not have the last word. Faith with hope represents a living principle of renewal of the world. The hope of the believers in the realisation of God’s promise entails the intent of anticipating the contents of God’s promise. Hope is not a passive expectation of the future. Hope is not the expectation of just conditions which will be realised exclusively in the afterlife; hope does not entail a mental disposition of resignation towards the events of earthen life. Hope regards the here and the now: Hope for the believers is the driving force of change and transformation of the world in the direction of justice, equality, and rights. The principle of hope is therefore the root of the promotion of justice among men: faith connected with hope represents both the very foundation of civil and social rights, of a democratic society, and of equality among individuals, and the disposition to steadily strengthen, within civil life, the values of rights, democracy, and equality.
Keywords Theology of Hope  promise  new creation  Theology of Hope  new Kingdom  Moltmann  revelation  God
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