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What does the paradoxical expression “spes contra spem” (hoping against hope) really mean? And how may the paradoxical situation inherent in this expression apply in the contemporary context of old and new forms of religion? My speech intends to explore these questions.

First of all, I will outline a short history of the topic by referring, above all, to Judaism and Christianity. Secondly I will discuss the paradoxical question of hope in contemporary world of faith: in particular analyzing some “new religions” (religions on the web, by the web and in the web). Finally, I will outline the possibility of “hoping against hope” in today’s situation of very loss of hope.

Adriano Fabris is Full Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Pisa (Italy). After his graduation Mr Fabris got a specialisation on Philosophy of Religion at the University of Freiburg i. B. (Germany) under the direction of Bernhard Casper (about the relation between philosophy and theology in the work The Star of Redemption of the Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig). In 1987 he obtained a “Perfezionamento in Filosofia” (Theoretical Philosophy) at the University of Genoa under the supervision of Alberto Caracciolo (with a dissertation on “Philosophy, History and Temporality. Heidegger on Basic Problems of Phenomenology”). Since 2010 he is director of the research Institute ReTe (Religions and Theology) of the University of Lugano, Faculty of Theology. On this field he promoted researches on the conditions of interreligious dialogue. His actual research focuses on Hermeneutical Thought, Ethics of Information and Comunication and Philosophy of Religion.

« Spes contra spem. » The Loss of Future in Contemporary Religions
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