Hoping Against Hope Blog Tour

Shaun Tabatt —  November 2, 2015
Hoping Against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim Book Cover Hoping Against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim
John d. Caputo
Fortress Press
October 1, 2015

John D. Caputo has a long career as one of the preeminent postmodern philosophers in America. The author of such books as Radical Hermeneutics, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida, and The Weakness of God, Caputo now reflects on his spiritual journey from a Catholic altar boy in 1950s Philadelphia to a philosopher after the death of God. Part spiritual autobiography, part homily on what he calls the “nihilism of grace,” Hoping Against Hope calls believers and nonbelievers alike to participate in the “praxis of the kingdom of God,” which Caputo says we must pursue “without why.”

Caputo’s conversation partners in this volume include Lyotard, Derrida, and Hegel, but also earlier versions of himself: Jackie, a young altar boy, and Brother Paul, a novice in a religious order. Caputo traces his own journey from faith through skepticism to hope after the “death of God.” In the end, Caputo doesn’t want to do away with religion; he wants to redeem religion and to reinvent religion for a postmodern time.

The Cross Focused Reviewers share their thoughts on Hoping Against Hope by John D. Caputo (Fortress Press, 2015).

“Some parts of the book resonated with me, and some parts did not so much, but I found that being in a critiquing (or heresy-hunting) mode was not the best way for me to read and appreciate this book. A poet on a movie that I recently watched told a friend that she should not worry whether she understands the poetry or not, but should simply let it wash over her. That was how I approached Caputo’s musings.”
Reviewer: James Pate
Rating: 4 Stars

“Overall I really enjoyed Hoping against Hope. I found Caputo easy to read and sincere. However, as a theology, it fails to answer the deeper questions of why we do what we do. Simply doing them without why sounds good enough, but upon reflection, is inadequate to tame the sinful heart of man.”
Reviewer: Aaron Cerda
Rating: 4 Stars

“I appreciate how Caputo’s postmodernity leads him to pluralism and relativism without the need to posit an underlying universal faith in God.”
Reviewer: James Matichuk
Rating: 3 Stars

“Caputo is, as I said, a wonderful writer, incredibly intelligent, and he makes many good points. The issue I found is that his good points veer off into a direction that I, as a devout believer and follower of Jesus Christ, would say work in opposition to what we find in Scripture. All in all, I would say that this book is an excellent read in terms of eloquence, entertainment, and even for the challenging of one’s mind and faith.”
Reviewer: Arliss Veldhuizen
Rating: 3 Stars

“I enjoyed and appreciated his dialogue with Jaques Derrida and Jean ean-François Lyotard. Caputo is an outstanding writer and thinker.”
Reviewer: James Sisco
Rating: 4 Stars

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