Certain hope: A. Phillips Griffiths

Religious Studies 26 (4):453-461 (1990)
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In his recent article 1 Stewart Sutherland rightly and trenchantly criticizes some accounts of hope which ignore, or radically misrepresent, how it is conceived in religious contexts. The most surprising, to me, is Chesterton's, that hope is ‘the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate’. Surprising, not so much for its content as for its source. However, this particular example could be of one who would risk giving scandal for the sake of wit; what he could have had in mind is that ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ . Sutherland also makes clear the unhelpfulness of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ analysts' account of the concept; not least because it is given without reference to the religious concept, and often is irrelevant to the notion of hope ‘in its proper conceptual surroundings’



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