We’ve made it to the final video segment of “Love: The Foundation of Hope.” Again, I’ve been publishing these videos from the 1986 Trinity Institute Conference (digitized from VHS) with permission of Trinity Church. Previous segments have been: 1) Jürgen Moltmann: A Theology of Hope; 2) Theology of Hope: Critiques and Questions; and 3) Theology of Hope: The Feminist Response. This final video, Theology of Hope: The Church in the World, explores the implications of Moltmann’s thought for political theology and features conversations with Jürgen Moltmann, Douglas Meeks, and Jose Miguez-Bonino. Below the embedded video you’ll find notes from the discussion guide included in the pamphlet that came with the VHS. Enjoy!
Part 4 – Theology of Hope: The Church in the World
Ask the group which themes or ideas were most engaging to them and make a list of their responses for purposes of discussion.
For biblical reflection:
The Quest for a Just Economy
Meeks on Christian justice and economics:
Justice is finding out how to distribute and redistribute according to what people have coming to them. Thus justice is basically economic in the ancient sense of the word economy…. The Christian faith says we shall only be able to know aht each person, group, or nation deserves on the foundation of God’s love. Justice is radically dependent on love.
The crisis for the Christian church in North America as it confronts economic justice is that we have allowed the church to be absorbed too much into the market society in whose logic God’s justice cannot appear.
(According to Meeks, the logic of the market society is one of “exchange relationships,” “accumulation,” and “individuals…left alone in a struggle against all others.”)
- Do you agree with Meeks?
- Is it the business of Christians to take a stand on issues of economics or public policy?
- Are there princicples of economic justice that Christians must promote? If so, what are they, and what ways have you found to assert those principles?
Bonino, speaking about oppression and the political situation in much of Latin America:
What happens to a person who cannot decide, who cannot talk freely to others, who is not addressed as a human being, who has no space to live, no time of his own? This is a “nonperson.”
How is the good news of God’s unconditional acceptance historically mediated to the “nonperson?”.. How can the message of unconditional acceptance be received unless a community of mutual free acceptance gives a content to the message?
- Bonino speaks here about “nonpersons” in the context of Latin America. What is a nonperson? Do you know any, or do any exist where you live? When and how does one become a person? What would Bonino say about this?
- To what extent can a parish be a “community of mutual free acceptance?” Does it thereby give content to the gospel message? In waht ways is your parish journeying in this direction?