Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
November 14th, 2016 by Joel Watts

Anxiety and Hope (Moltmann)

I posted a quote from Auden on my FB earlier. I wanted to expand upon it and to separate “anxiety” from the clinical sense.

from Auden,

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but anxiety.”

–W. H. Auden

From Moltmann,

Of course the person who is forced into a tight corner becomes afraid, while hope opens up vision and outlook. Anxiety—anxietas—chokes us. Hope—spes—lets us breathe. Anxiety weakens us and makes us small and mean. But the person who is strengthened by hope can raise his head and learn to walk upright. We are afraid of imprisonment and death. But hope longs for life and liberty. So would it not be better to learn how to hope with Ernst Bloch, rather than to learn how to be afraid with Kierkegaard? At first glance everyone would immediately agree that hope is above fear. Hope can lead to anxiety. Anxiety cannot lead to hope. But by seizing on fear and hope as simple alternatives, have we really grasped the deeper significance of these two attitudes? – Moltmann, Experiences of God.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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