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Redemptive HopeFrom the Age of Enlightenment to the Age of Obama$
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Akiba J. Lerner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267910

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267910.001.0001

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Redemptive Hope and the Cunning of History

Redemptive Hope and the Cunning of History

(p.21) 1 Redemptive Hope and the Cunning of History
Redemptive Hope

Akiba J. Lerner

Fordham University Press

Chapter 1 starts with the first stage in history of redemptive hope narratives. This initial stage is defined by the central idea that ultimate hopes are only justified if linked to the Divine. This first stage combines both Jewish and Christian scriptures, as well as philosophers like Augustine and Aquinas down to Kant. The second stage, starting with the Enlightenment, is defined by the emergence of a new redemptive narrative based on science and secular ideals of autonomy and humanistic self-fulfillment as an alternative to biblically inspired otherworldly hopes. During this period a hermeneutics of suspicion and a broader sense of disenchantment began to erode religious foundations for all transcendental hope. This chapter provides an overview of the dialectical interplay between these first two stages leading to the emergence of a third stage toward the end of the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   autonomy, critique, Enlightenment, fate, individualism, reason, Romanticism, secularism, transcendence

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