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Hope in a Democratic Age
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Hope in a Democratic Age: Philosophy, Religion, and Political Theory

Alan Mittleman


How and why should hope play a key role in a 21st-century democratic politics? This book offers a philosophical exploration of the theme, contending that a modern construction of hope as an emotion is deficient. It revives the medieval understanding of hope as a virtue, reconstructing this in a contemporary philosophical idiom. In this framework, hope is less a spontaneous reaction than it is a choice against despair; a decision to live with confidence and expectation, based on a rational assessment of possibility and a faith in the underlying goodness of life. In cultures shaped by biblical t ... More

Keywords: hope, faith, democratic politics, Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, rabbinic literature, Augustine, philosophical pessimism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199297153
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297153.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alan Mittleman, author
Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Chair, Department of Jewish Thought, The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York