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2 - Eternal Hope: The Christian Vision

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2022

Adam Potkay
Affiliation:
College of William and Mary, Virginia
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Summary

This chapter entertains four questions: first, what are hope’s conceptual relations to the other theological virtues, faith and love? Second, is there eternal hope for some people only, or for everyone – for the rich as well as the poor, for non-Christians as well as Christians? (I argue that Dante, in the Divine Comedy, offers some salvation hope for his pagan guide, Virgil.) Third, is hope inherently self-regarding or not? Fourth, does hope come to an end, as no longer necessary, when eternal life is fully inhabited – or does it continue eternally? In some accounts, hope will no longer be necessary once the kingdom comes, and God is all in all. Yet my chapter title refers to hope as a component of eternal life, hope that motivates eternally. The theological belief that souls eternally strive for perfection is developed in the Greek writings of the early Church Father St. Gregory of Nyssa.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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