Hope as the Prudent Art of Potentialities: Its Significance for a Christian Economics of Human Flourishing

In: Philosophia Reformata
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  • 1 Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven, Belgium, patrick.nullens@etf.edu

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Hope is a complex and multifaceted syndrome, an emotion as well as a virtue. It requires attention in a Christian economic paradigm oriented at justice and human flourishing. This article makes a case for this type of interdisciplinary research. Our focus lies on hope with a high (aspirational) agency and prudence. In recent economics, with increasing appreciation for relationships, well-being, and the common good, there is an openness to motivational concepts such as hope. Positive psychology has also given attention to hope as a form of well-being and resilience. We stress the importance of embedding hope in a Christian worldview in the tradition of Abraham Kuyper’s Pro Rege and the work of Nicholas Wolterstorff. Christian thinking fosters the relationship between hope, faith, moral orientation, and worship as imagining a different future. Hope as a prudent art of potentiality is a transformational power, creating a society where humans can flourish and fight off anxiety and despair.

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