Embracing Hopelessness

Embracing Hopelessness

Miguel de la Torre

Fortress, 2017

I will admit, before I even started, I have come to a place where I just can’t stand several forms of optimism. In particular, I have no patience for the kind of optimism that just dismisses data and real concerns to say, “everything will be fine!” It won’t! Don’t be dismissive of real concerns! But I digress…

What I particularly appreciated about this book was the way it helped me see that “hope” has become ingrained in me, and that “hope” is often weaponized against the poor and the oppressed. Indeed, it is an idol that must be destroyed. After all, the poor and oppressed see that the hope isn’t coming–things aren’t changing, and they aren’t getting better.

The chapter on the Holocaust is deeply moving, and it opens up so many possibilities. I particularly enjoy the imagery that draws on Ellie Wiesel’s trial of God, where after convicting God, the people pray. That is the crux of the matter.

I also like the last chapter a lot. The idea is that we can’t really change oppressive systems, but we can screw with them. We might just expose them! If not, it gives us a way to resist.

I found this book to be a helpful reminder, too, that orthopraxis–doing the right thing–is more important than orthodoxy–believing the right thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s