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2.31 Bloch, Moltmann and others

Heidegger had argued that an existence is authentic when it is marked by the awareness of its condition of possibility and impossibility, especially the possibility of death, understood as the possibility that anything suddenly becomes impossible; we sometimes use to say that “anything can happen”.
According to Ernst Bloch (Germany, 1885-1977) we must not however neglect the condition of possibility understood in a positive sense, that is the fact that at any moment prospects of life, of improvement, can arise, even unexpectedly. We all need something to wait for, which keeps alive our desire to live. An important fact is that hope can open up especially thanks to our action in the world. For this reason, philosophy and theology of hope have found their congenial terrain in Marxism: it placed great trust in the possibilities that are opened up by concrete human commitment. Bloch also appreciated the hope of a religious nature, but refused to identify it in precise figures, therefore not accepting faith in a God; the flaw of religion is, according to him, to have crystallized this feeling in the relationship with a God who is too precise, determined.
According to the Protestant theologian Jürgen Moltmann (Germany, 1926 – living), in Christ is, compared to the vagueness of Bloch’s hope, a concrete answer to the problem of death. The resurrection of Jesus allows the real possibility of further future events, worthy of being lived as hope. Furthermore, it also has the ability to face with destructions of hope caused by human sin. An interesting symbol of the need for hope that dwells in man is the game: in it we invent hopes and determine the ways by which to experiment our ability to realize them. Moltmann’s logic overturns the Marxist idea of religion as opium of people: according to Moltmann, if God would not exist, we could resign ourselves to the status quo, to injustice and violence; but since God exists and is right, we cannot be resign ourselves, but we must live in the effective hope that leads to action.
The Catholic theologian Johann Baptist Metz (Germany, 1928 – living) introduced the concept of political theology, arguing that today theology cannot limit itself to establishing definitions, but must engage in the concrete problems of the world and become involved in the daily search for solutions. The theology of Giuseppe Ruggieri (Pozzallo, 1940) also has been oriented, in various aspects, on a line comparable to that of Metz. In the 1970s the “liberation theology” was born in Latin America; it proposed to be embodied in the life situations of poor people and to identify, by sharing their problems, the concrete answers with which to react to situations of injustice.
On all this set of ideas the Catholic Church has reacted by criticizing the politicization and the Marxist (and therefore atheist) background that hide behind these intentions of struggle in favor of the poor; for their part, instead, the theologians of hope and liberation have accused the Church of crystallizing in a way of institutional existence, which lacks concrete commitment and openness to a true hope that is not relegated to the afterlife.

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