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Theology and Ministry

Towards a Model of Christian Hope

Andrew J. Stobart

Abstract

This article seeks to develop a recent psychological model of hope for use within Christian ministry. Charles Snyder’s Hope Theory is first examined, noting particularly his helpful definition of hope as a ‘positive motivational state’. The article then explores the relationship between emotion and cognition in the context of a psychology of hope, with further work on the social rehearsal of emotions. After a brief summary of the content of a theology of hope, following the contours of recent theologians such as Robert Jenson, the remainder of the article seeks to develop a specifically Christian version of Snyder’s model of hope, with the view to this being used to nurture the practice of hope in the Christian community. Christian hope is described as a positive motivational state based upon the confidence that both the agency and the pathways posited by the triune God, in and for the church, will attain their intended goal.

Key Words: hope; psychology; Snyder; emotions; eschatology

Article (pdf file for download)