The Graduate Theological Society, together with Oxford University Press, will host a discussion of Hope in a Democratic Age: Philosophy, Religion, and Political Theory, a new book by Jewish philosopher Alan Mittleman. John Perry of the McDonald Centre will respond. Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 8pm, Trinity College. View the event poster.
In the book, Mittleman explores the religious origins of the concept of hope in the Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, rabbinic literature and Augustine. He traces the roots of both the praise of hope, in Jewish and Christian thought, and the criticism of hope in Greco-Roman thought and in the tradition of philosophical pessimism. Arguing on behalf of a straightened, sober form of hope, he relates hope-as-a-virtue to the tasks of democratic citizenship. Without diminishing the wisdom found in tragedy, a strong argument emerges in favour of hope as a way of taking responsibility for the world. Drawing on insights from scriptural and classical texts, philosophers, and theologians – ancient and modern, Mittleman builds a compelling case for placing hope at the centre of democratic political systems.