Is Hope Hopeless?

In partnership with the University of Sheffield - this talk forms part of our series "God and the Good: Thinking Religion and Ethics".

Is Hope Hopeless?
Robert Stern - Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield

Hope is traditionally identified as one of the key ‘theological virtues’, alongside faith and love or charity, which are distinguished from the ‘cardinal virtues’. Many philosophers have also made hope central to their work, including Kant and the American pragmatists Charles S. Peirce and William James. But hope can also appear problematic, as a kind of wishful thinking or irrational optimism. So the question arises of when it is rational to hope, and what are the criteria for legitimate hoping? And if the object of hope is not God, as the secularist holds, does it nonetheless still make sense to distinguish it from the cardinal virtues?

All are welcome, and there is no need to register attendance.

The Cathedral Coffee Shop will open from 6.30pm, serving tea, coffee, wine and light refreshments. Talks and discussion will taken place between 7:30pm and 9pm.

God and the Good: Thinking Religion and Ethics

This series of talks considers the relation between religious thinking and traditions on the one hand, and ethics on the other. While most ethical traditions have a religious background, the increasing secularization of modern society has put this connection in question. These talks will consider how far ethical issues can be illuminated by coming at them through a religious context, and vice versa, as well as the history of the interconnection.