Ethics of Hope, by Jürgen Moltmann

Here’s the thing about Jürgen Moltmann. Almost everything he says, you feel you’ve read somewhere before. Now there could be two explanations for this. One, that he’s a creature of fashion: that, like everyone, he speaks out on the environment; on the analogy between the discourse on human rights and the relation to soil, sea and sky; on justice for the oppressed; on God’s coming future. Or two, that he’s a creator of fashion: that the eschatological turn in modern theology, identification with the suffering of God in Christ, the social doctrine of the Trinity, the centrality of ecology in theology and not just in ethics, and other developments are in large part due to his enormous influence. In the latter case, to regard many of his pronouncements as commonplace is a compliment rather than a criticism, for he has made them so.

The truth, I believe, lies closer to the second explanation. However, Ethics of Hope gives too much support to the first. Here is an example:

To be a human being means being a person in relationships. . . . And so between individual human dignity and the dignity of the human species there is the dignity of the specific social relationships by virtue of which I am who I am.