The Resilience of Hope


Hope: What is it? How do we get it? Is it part of being human? Is it something that carries us through hard times? Is it something illusory? This book, which stems from the 4th conference on Hope: Probing the Boundaries held in September 2008 at Mansfield College in Oxford, England, explores all of these questions and many more. As a truly inter-disciplinary venture, this book approaches the theme of hope from the point of view of the philosophical, theological, political, literary, psychological, and sociological and presents hope not just as an abstract theme to be pondered but as an aspect of human living and thinking that has a profound impact on our lives. The conclusions reached in each chapter demonstrate the variety of ways in which hope is conceived as well as the tensions inherent in any discussion of the benefits of hope and the intricacies in dealing with hope on a theoretical and a practical level. This book is perfect for anyone wondering where hope fits into our lives during these troubling times.

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Janette McDonald and Andrea M. Stephenson: Introduction: The Resilience of Hope
Theoretical Questions and Frameworks
Michael W. Swanson: On the Rationality of Hope, Given Naturalism
Nancy Billias: Hope as a Moral Virtue
Wendy O’Brien: Exercise of Hope
Ricardo Gil Soeiro: Where Music Plays and the Sirens Sing: Hope and Despair in George Steiner’s Tragic Vision
Salomon J. Terreblanche: The Tension between Ideological Closure and Hermeneutic Openness in Ernst Bloch’s Philosophy of Hope
Andrea M. Stephenson: Construction of Human Identity: A Vehicle for Hope
Interlude: Between Theory and Praxis
Stephanie-Alice Baker: Hoping to Fear: The Cathartic Transformation of the Civic Community
Practical Questions and Frameworks
Katy Fox: The Principle of Hope: Relating to the European Union in Rural Romania
Sara Haramati: Hope in Pandora’s Box: Psychological Work with Medical Patients
Shimon Shiri, Isaiah D. Wexler, Pamela R. Simonsson, and Shulamit Kreitler: Fear and Hope: The Relationships between Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Positive Psychological Impact Following Exposure to Politically Motivated Violence
Ellen Alexandra Lothe: Hope or Horror? A Follow-up Study of Resilience in Survivors from the 1985 Famine in Ethiopia
Notes on Contributors
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