May, 10th 2004

Prof. Dr. Markus Wriedt
Frankfurt a.M./ Milwaukee

Hope -
theologic thought on a devoid idiom in everyday language

CV ° Markus Wriedt was born in Hamburg in 1958 ; from 1977-83 he studies theology and philosophy at the universities of Hamburg, Southampton and Munich, earns initially a scholarship and is scientific assistant at the dept. for history of religion at the institute for European history in Mainz since 1985. After in service training of vicarship between 1987 and 89 he earned his PhD for his studies in protestant theology and history of religion in 1990. Since 1993 he is a priest. Betweeen 1995-2001 he had a university teaching position at the university of Heidelberg, and since winter 2000/01 also at the university of Frankfurt. Since 2002 he is a regular visiting professor for theology at Marquette university, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is member in numerous national and international associations, among which he also belongs to the head of directors of the association of the history of religion.
He wrote several publications on the history of religion in the late Middle Ages and the time of reformation, e.g. "Gnade und Erwählung. Eine Untersuchung zu Johann von Staupitz und Martin Luther", Mainz 1991, Christlicher als christlich? Auf dem Weg zu einer neuen Moral in der Kirche, Frankfurt/Main, Darmstadt 1994, Zusammen mit Leif Grane und Alfred Schindler Herausgeber von: Auctoritas Patrum. Beiträge zur Rezeption der Kirchenväter im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, Mainz 1993 und 1997. Since 2000 editor for "Archiv für Reformationsgeschiche".

Abstract ° "Now, all you can do is hope..." That is the common idiom we all get to hear when everything possible to humans has been tried and no solution can be discovered by means of rationality. In my northern German homeland, people often additionaly remark: Better go and get the priest. As a christian virtue and value, hope becomes important when everything else does not help any more. The church and its office bearers adminstrate that ultima ratio. In general use of language hope refers to man's attitude to the impossible. The lecture shall place the theologic foundations of hope at the centre of the human condition. Without hope we are lost because we lose ourselves. We cannot live without hope. It is hope that makes our lives worth living. Therefore hope belongs right into our lives, into our human reality.Hope refers beyond ourselves and simultanously into ourselves. Regarding Feuerbachs allegation of projection, the real fundament of hope is to be searched and found inthis tension between human self-transcendence and being imanently fixed. Rationalistic criticism of religion points out crucial deficits in mediation in this context. I want to show alternatives and reestablish hope as believable in postmodernism.

Lecture (.pdf, german)               Material (.pdf, german)