Living Joyfully after Losing Social Hope: Kierkegaard and Chrétien on Selfhood and Eschatological Expectation
Author(s)J. Aaron Simmons
philosophy of religion
Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
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AbstractIn this essay, I offer an existential-phenomenological consideration of what it might look like to live joyfully after losing social hope. Using the example of the widespread hopelessness that many are feeling in light of the election of Donald Trump, I suggest that the danger of losing hope is that we can also lose our selfhood in the process. In order to develop a conception of “eschatological hope” that would be resistant to the loss of such social and political expectations, I draw specifically on Søren Kierkegaard’s notion that “the expectancy of faith is victory,” and Jean-Louis Chrétien’s idea of “the unhoped for,” in order to develop a model of hope that remains when it seems like all other hope has been lost. Rather than being overcome by anxiety about the future, eschatological hope fosters joy in the present.