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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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Epilogue: Images of Hope


The aim of a mature human identity is a world and a life in which to wisely enjoy what relationships, work, and belonging to groups mean in society and its culture. We have seen that imagination was what is needed from attention and rehabilitation, in order to dispose our nature towards another, more hopeful one. The role of language, narration, and dialectical-literary irony has also been discussed in terms of accessing common and metaphysical values, all of which has implications for biology and existence: identity. That is why I now want to offer some images of hope. Through these examples, I intend to formulate, narrate, and give access to something of hope itself.

iThe Photo Album: Identity is Memory and Autobiography

Photo albums collect many of the experiences of our personal history. In these albums, a person appears with other people, generally speaking, family and friends who have made a mark upon their life. These albums present important moments in life (birth, baptism, birthdays, graduation, trips, team photos, holidays, etc.). They do not usually contain sad occasions, and there is even less sadness to be found in the stories on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, which mostly publish the positive, spirited, funny, and even euphoric moments in our lives, such as days at the beach.

Indeed, identity has something in common with a photo album because it keeps, in time, the emotional imprint left by each of the...

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