Theology of Hope: Moltmann and Pannenberg


Theology of hope is believed to must have been conceived in the 1960s, with its roots grounded in the 20th existentialism philosophy. Albert Schweitzer was one of the exponents of the theology of hope. In his eschatological teachings, Schweitzer dwelt about faith and stunningly argued the implication of history could only be discovered in its conclusion “(Grenz, S., & Olson, 1992). The philosophy of existentialism contended people had absolute freedom and responsibility for whatever thing they made of themselves.

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Theology of Hope had its roots in this assumption (Escobar, 2003). Moltmann and Pannenberg were the most notable advocates of the Theology of Hope (Escobar, 2003). This essay, therefore, attempts to compare and contrast the theologies of Moltmann and Pannenberg within the rubric of Theology of Hope.

Hope is a word that is mostly used in reference to the future. Hope can be seen as having a belief that tomorrow will be better (Dorrien, 2004). In every study carried out, there are always questions and arguments that need to be pondered over to come up with amicable and near truthful conclusions. This being the case, the truthful conclusions may be deemed as truths by one group and utter fallacies by another group.

In any given line of thought or argument, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and the important factor is for “the judges” of the various opinions to remain neutral and broad-minded (Dorrien, 2004). In this way, people can coexist with each other, regardless of the heterogeneity of their opinions and views concerning matters of religion and spirituality. Theology of Hope is a minor step towards incorporating Christian ideologies into philosophy. These ideologies are then used as the baseline for most philosophical arguments (Escobar, 2003).

Pannenbergs Theology of Hope

Wolfhart Pannenberg was a Lutheran believer and, to some extent, an orthodox theologian. After going through various life challenges and experiences, he came across what he considered the nature of God that led him to believe that God’s revelation could always be found in the occurrences that were yet to happen. According to Pannenberg, the happenings of now could not completely reveal the true nature of God to an individual until the future happens, thus completing the process of revelation to create a complete picture (Escobar, 2003).

Moltmanns Theology of Hope

Jurgen Moltmanns theology is established on the notion that God would do something in the future of individuals, and that the past had already gone and whether or not it was by the hand of God or mere consequences, there was very little people could do about it (Escobar, 2003). Moltmann was a war survivor who had gone through imprisonment and all forms of suffering. This made his belief in God, his views about God, and his ideologies to be more personal experience based (Dorrien, 2004).


Pannenberg believed that hope was embedded in the occurrences that were yet to happen, whereas Moltmann believed it was all vested in the promises of God. Though different in their ideologies, Moltmann and Pannenberg’s theology concerning hope was built on the same same religious principles and doctrines. They both men considered hope to be a substance that was effective in the development of the future, the essence of the Theology of Hope.

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Clayton, C. (2001). “Secular theology: American radical theological thought.” Routledge. ISBN, 9780415250511.

Dorrien, J. (2004). “The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity.” Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Escobar, S. (2003). The new global mission: The gospel from everywhere to everyone. Downers Grove (IL). Inter-Varsity Press. ISBN-13: 9780830833016.

Grenz, S., & Olson, R. (1992). The 20th century theology: God and the world in a transitional Age. Downers Grove (IL). Inter-Varsity Press. ISBN-13: 0-8308-1525.

Hordern, W. (1955). A layman’s guide to Protestant theology: Revised Edition. Wipf & Stock Publishers. ISBN-13: 1-57910-925-X.

John B. C. & David R. G. (2001). “Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition.” Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Theology of Hope: Moltmann and Pannenberg'. 26 April.

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