Moltmann has become known for developing a form of social trinitarianism. He described his German upbringing as thoroughly secular. His grandfather was a grand master of the Freemason s. At sixteen, Moltmann idolized Albert Einstein , and anticipated studying mathematics at university. The physics of relativity were "fascinating secrets open to knowledge"; theology as yet played no role in his life. World War II He took his entrance exam to proceed with his education, but went to war instead as an Air Force auxiliary in the German army.
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Youth[ edit ] Moltmann was born in Hamburg on 8 April He described his German upbringing as thoroughly secular. His grandfather was a grand master of the Freemasons. At sixteen, Moltmann idolized Albert Einstein , and anticipated studying mathematics at university.
The physics of relativity were "fascinating secrets open to knowledge"; theology as yet played no role in his life. World War II[ edit ] He took his entrance exam to proceed with his education, but went to war instead as an Air Force auxiliary in the German army.
Ordered to the Klever Reichswald , a German forest at the front lines, he surrendered in in the dark to the first British soldier he met. For the next few years —48 , he was confined as a prisoner of war and moved from camp to camp. He was first confined in Belgium. In the camp at Belgium, the prisoners were given little to do. Moltmann and his fellow prisoners were tormented by "memories and gnawing thoughts"—Moltmann claimed to have lost all hope and confidence in German culture because of Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps where Jews and others the Nazis opposed had been imprisoned and killed.
They also glimpsed photographs nailed up confrontationally in their huts, bare photographs of Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Moltmann met a group of Christians in the camp, and was given a small copy of the New Testament and Psalms by an American chaplain. He gradually felt more and more identification with and reliance on the Christian faith. The hospitality of the Scottish residents toward the prisoners left a great impression upon him. His experience as a POW gave him a great understanding of how suffering and hope reinforce each other, leaving a lasting impression on his theology.
After the war[ edit ] Moltmann returned home at 22 years of age to find his hometown of Hamburg in fact, his entire country in ruins from Allied bombing in World War II. Moltmann immediately went to work in an attempt to express a theology that would reach what he called "the survivors of [his] generation". Moltmann had hope that the example of the " Confessing Church " during the war would be repeated in new ecclesiastical structures. He and many others were disappointed to see, instead, a rebuilding on pre-war models in a cultural attempt to forget entirely the recent period of deadly hardship.
In , he and four others were invited to attend the first postwar Student Christian Movement in Swanwick, a conference center near Derby , UK. What happened there affected him very deeply. In Moltmann became a theology teacher at an academy in Wuppertal that was operated by the Confessing Church and in he joined the theological faculty at the University of Bonn. From to , Moltmann was the Robert W.
He delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in — He developed a greater concern for social ethics, and the relationship between church and society. Moltmann also developed an interest in Luther and Hegel, the former of whose doctrine of justification and theology of the cross interested him greatly.
Moltmann cites the English pacifist and anti-capitalist theologian Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy as being highly regarded. Bloch is concerned to establish hope as the guiding principle of his Marxism and stresses the implied humanism inherent in mystical tradition. Bloch claims to identify an atheism at the core of Christianity, embodied in the notion of the death of God and the continued imperative of seeking the Kingdom.
The background influence in all these thinkers is Hegel, who is referenced more times than any other writer in the Theology of Hope. Like the Left Hegelians who immediately succeeded the master, both Moltmann and Pannenberg are determined to retain the sense of history as meaningful and central to Christian discourse, while avoiding the essentially conformist and conservative aspects of his thought. In so doing, they are wrestling with the history of Germany itself. They are also implicitly offering a critique of the Neo-Orthodox theology of Karl Barth and Emil Brunner , which they see as ahistorical in its core.
In Explanation of the Theme, his introduction to the book, Moltmann acknowledges that the direction of his questioning has shifted to that of existentialist philosophy and the Marxism of the Frankfurt School , particularly Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer — close associates of Paul Tillich. An unacknowledged influence, and certainly an important parallel, is probably the Death of God theology that was winning notice in the mids, particularly the essay collection under that title, edited by William Hamilton and Thomas J.
Altizer in memory of Paul Tillich. Moltmann continued to see Christ as dying in solidarity with movements of liberation, God choosing to die with the oppressed. This work and its footnotes are full of references, direct and implied, to the New Left and the uprisings of , the Prague Spring the French May and, closest to home, the German APO , and their aftermath.
The Crucified God posited that God died on the Cross, raising the question of the impassibility of God. The Church in the Power of the Spirit explores the implications of these explorations for the church in its own life and in the world.
The later Moltmann took a less systematic approach to theology, leading to what he called his "systematic contributions to theology"  that sought to provoke and engage more than develop some kind of set Moltmannian theology.
Moltmann corroborates his ideas with those of Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Jews in an attempt to reach a greater understanding of Christian theology; which he believes should be developed inter-ecumenically. Moltmann has a passion for the Kingdom of God as it exists both in the future, and in the God of the present. His theology is often referred to as "Kingdom of God" Theology. His theology is built on eschatology, and the hope found in the resurrected Christ. This theology is most clearly explained in his book, Theology of Hope.
If it were not as such, divine reconciliation would be insufficient. Thus the sixth volume will be helpful for concern for his theological method. However, in fact Moltmann is interested in "the content of theology, in its revision in the light of its biblical origin, and in its innovation given the challenges of the present" rather than in the questions of theological method Meeks , In addition, his development as a theologian has been marked by a restless imagination.
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" 1 Peter , NIV , and knowledge of his return.
For Moltmann, the hope of the Christian faith is hope in the resurrection of Christ crucified. Hope and faith depend on each other to remain true and substantial; and only with both may one find "not only a consolation in suffering, but also the protest of the divine promise against suffering"  However, because of this hope we hold, we may never exist harmoniously in a society such as ours which is based on sin.
When following the Theology of Hope, a Christian should find hope in the future but also experience much discontentment with the way the world is now, corrupt and full of sin. Sin bases itself in hopelessness, which can take on two forms: presumption and despair. Despair is the premature, arbitrary anticipation of the non-fulfillment of what we hope for from God.
Eschatology should not be its end, but its beginning. Moltmann addresses this concern as such: "Does this hope cheat man of the happiness of the present? How could it do so! For it is itself the happiness of the present. This theological perspective of eschatology makes the hope of the future, the hope of today. Hope strengthens faith and aids a believer into living a life of love, and directing them toward a new creation of all things. It creates in a believer a "passion for the possible"  "For our knowledge and comprehension of reality, and our reflections on it, that means at least this: that in the medium of hope our theological concepts become not judgments which nail reality down to what it is, but anticipations which show reality its prospects and its future possibilities.
For Moltmann, creation and eschatology depend on one another. There exists an ongoing process of creation, continuing creation, alongside creation ex nihilo and the consummation of creation.
The consummation of creation will consist of the eschatological transformation of this creation into the new creation. The sufferings of the poor should not be seen as equal to or a representation of the sufferings of Jesus. Our suffering is not an offering to God, it is not required of us to suffer.
The point of the crucified Christ was to present an alternative to human suffering. Human suffering is not a quality of salvation, and should not be viewed as such. This is not to say that the sufferings of humans is of no importance to God. This "mutual liberation" necessarily involves a "liberation of oppressors from the evil they commit; otherwise there can be no liberation for a new community in justice and freedom. It is only after that that they can try to find a truly humane community with their previous oppressors.
It is with this sensibility that Moltmann explores, in his Experiences in Theology, what various liberation theologies might mean for the oppressor: Black theology for whites, Latin American liberation theology for the First World, feminist theology for men, etc. He also moves beyond oppression as a mere personal sin and instead calls for oppressors to withdraw from the "structures of violence" that destroy the lives of the oppressed.
This is to say that he believes the three dwell in one another. The three persons are differentiated in their characteristics, but related in their original exchange. He believes the doctrine of the Trinity should be developed as the "true theological doctrine of freedom. The first mode is the political meaning of freedom as supremacy. This mode is rejected by Moltmann, who sees it as corresponding to a God who rules over his creation, which exists merely to serve Him.
It is a relation of a subject with an object, where the goal is to enhance the supremacy of the subject. The second mode of human freedom is the socio-historical and Hegelian meaning of freedom as communion, which implies the relation between two subjects.
This relationship aims at love and solidarity, and corresponds to the perichoresis of the Father and Son, and through the Son the children of God, or humanity. This relationship is both liberating and loving, and is one Moltmann favors. The third mode of human freedom is the implicitly religious concept of freedom as the passion of the creature for his or her potential.
This deals with the relationship between subjects and their common future project. This is the mode favored most by Moltmann, who correlates this relationship with the one humans share with God in the realm of the Holy Spirit. Here, an indwelling of the Spirit allows humans to be friends with God. As you can see, the first mode of freedom is political, and focuses on The Father; the second is communal, focusing on the Son; and the third is religious, focusing on the Spirit.
Youth[ edit ] Moltmann was born in Hamburg on 8 April He described his German upbringing as thoroughly secular. His grandfather was a grand master of the Freemasons. At sixteen, Moltmann idolized Albert Einstein , and anticipated studying mathematics at university. The physics of relativity were "fascinating secrets open to knowledge"; theology as yet played no role in his life. World War II[ edit ] He took his entrance exam to proceed with his education, but went to war instead as an Air Force auxiliary in the German army. Ordered to the Klever Reichswald , a German forest at the front lines, he surrendered in in the dark to the first British soldier he met.
Theology of Hope Quotes