Traversing centuries of thought about the many modes of hoping – from Ernst Bloch’s monumental work through the Stoics, Aquinas, Marx and Kierkegaard, among others – this penetrating book throws new light on religious faith and political ideology as well as issues such as the problem of evil, the role of language and the meaning of the past. Hope Without Optimism is a brilliantly engaged, impassioned chronicle of human belief and desire in an increasingly uncertain world.
'In our predicament every direct optimism is by definition a fake: the only bearers of true hope are those who dare to confront the abyss we are approaching. Hope without Optimism is the best formula of the authentic religion that fits our dark times.’ - Slavoj Žižek, author of Living in the End Times
‘With its wide sweep and fluent engagement with novels, social theory, lyric poetry, philosophy, literary theory, history, drama, theology and more, this book is brimming with ideas. The overwhelming coherence and power of Eagleton’s vision and the superabundance of novel insights is impressive.’ - Raymond Geuss, author of A World Without Why
'For years now, Eagleton’s work has been ‘must-read’ across the board. There are theological tomes on hope but nothing that cuts so cleanly and incisively across the disciplines of literary theory, Marxist theory, politics, and theology as does this work. The final chapter is not only a brilliant piece of theology; it is also a very moving essay on what we have to hope for: if not much, still, not nothing. And the difference between something and nothing is the only difference that finally matters. Eagleton shows why that is so.’ - Denys Turner, author of Faith, Reason, and the Existence of God