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Freedom Freed by Hope

A Conversation with Johann B. Metz and William F. Lynch on the ‘Identity Crisis’ in the West

Alberto Dominguez Munaiz

A hopeless individual is more vulnerable and is threatened with indifference, meaninglessness, apathy, anxiety, stress, and despair. Are there symptoms of this in the West? Is it an individual phenomenon or has it been historically-culturally transmitted?

This book analyzes, from an interdisciplinary perspective (psychology, sociology, neuroscience, philosophy, theology), how hope contributes to forming a mentally healthy and mature identity. But what hope? Is this just for moments of despair? Can hope free imagination, enlarge desires and rehabilitate the zest for life? Is there a phenomenology of hope?

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Preface by Pope Francis


Dear brother1:

This book reminds me of when we met in 2014: an EJIF (European Jesuit in Formation) group came to Mass at Saint Martha’s Chapel, here at the Vatican. It was the feast of Saint Peter Faber (August 2) and our beloved Father Adolfo Nicolás led that group. On leaving, I asked each one of you: “where are you from?.” “From Spain,” you replied. “Spain is very diverse. What part of the country?” When I heard “from Galicia,” I immediately connected with my Argentina and said to myself in a loud voice: “really, a true Galician!” It so happens that Spaniards are historically known as “Galicians” in Argentina because people from Galicia were the first to arrive from Spain as migrants at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Today, our meeting is longer and more extensive, and it takes place reflecting on this book of hope and its role in the constitution of human beings.

Our families, schools, teams, and public institutions need to understand hope not only for moments of crisis, but also to create a healthy environment and a culture in which to inhabit and shape our sensibility and dispositions for fraternity. Regarding this, I would like to highlight one line of the conclusions in relation to Hope: “this ‘image disposition’ comprises my personal experience, elevating it and energizing it positively upon challenges with a horizon of meaning. Using theological jargon, it is participation in...

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