Jürgen Moltmann on the Community of the Seeking and the Hungry

Religion, Revolution, and the Future by Jürgen Moltmann
Religion, Revolution, and the Future by Jürgen Moltmann
Moltmann spent a year as a visiting professor at Duke University between 1967 and 1968 – just after the English Translation of Theology of Hope had been published. During that time Moltmann traveled the United States and gave lectures at various colleges and seminaries. Religion, Revolution, and the Future is a collection of those lectures. And it is excellent.

Below is a reading from “The Revolution of Freedom,” which was presented as an Alden-Tuthill Lecture at Chicago Theological Seminary on Jaunuary 23, 1968. Moltmann here paints a vision for a community that is very different than what most of us in Christian churches are used to: A community based not on all our confessional answers about God, but on unsolved asking for God.

Some men base their community on answers alone. Such communities are always biased, factious, and confessional. They cannot be universal. However, there is also a community of men based on asking. This is the community of the seeking and hungry, neither biased nor confessional. It is a community pervading all parties and churches, uniting men in their common experience of deficiency and not-knowing. […]

It seems to me that Christian theology of today should turn away from a dogmatic theology to a critical one, from beginning with answers about God to the unsolved asking for God. The tense of asking is the future. In the process of asking persistently and eschewing the satisfaction of trite compensations, man becomes open to the future and thus exists in time and history.

By way of asking he goes, as Abraham once did, from his country and his kindred and his father’s hosue. By way of asking he opens himself up for the unknown future. By way of asking for God and ultimate freedom he enters into world-wide solidarity with the whole “waiting creation” of which Paul is speaking in Romans 8:18ff. A “theology of hope” is a theology of questions that can be answered only by the coming of God through the kingdom of freedom. It can therefore be ecumenical if, behind the conflict between different answers of churches and ideologies, it detects and brings to awareness the deeper community of asking and seeking, a community bonded by man’s poverty and existing for the sake of a wider future.

Jürgen Moltmann, Religion, Revolution, and the Future, 65-66

For another great selection from this book, be sure to check out this post over at The PostBarthian.

One thought on “Jürgen Moltmann on the Community of the Seeking and the Hungry”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *