Le pardon entre memoire et esperance: pour une lecture theologique de Paul Ricœur

Susana de Sousa Vilas Boas

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Starting from Paul Ricoeur's thinking on history-time and memory-forgetfulness, we seek to understand the meaning of hope, not only from a philosophical perspective, but also - and above all – from a Christian theological perspective. Here we seek to understand how it is possible to maintain historical continuity and to safeguard memory (however traumatic it may be) and to look forward to the future with hope. Paul Ricoeur's proposal seems to indicate not only an insurmountable tension between memory and forgetting that can only be overcome by personal/human forgiveness. However, the Ricoeurian vision of forgiveness - always limited by human contingency – seems to foresee a certain impossibility of keeping hope. Thus, by articulating Ricoeur's vision with the perspectives of other philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and theologians, it becomes possible to open up new avenues and defend the thesis that only forgiveness, understood in a Christian-theological perspective, can be a link and a path of possibility for true hope. In this study, therefore, we seek to understand the concepts of history-time and memory-forgetting beyond Ricoeurian perspectives, thus being able to understand the scope and implications of forgiveness for a historical continuity and for a hope beyond contingency and earthly circumstances. From a theological point of view, hope and history are presented ‘hand in hand’ under the sign of promise and eschatology, where forgiveness is thought of in a personal way (between human beings), without denying – but rather including – the presence and action of God. In this case, forgiveness is presented not only as a gift offered, but as a condition of possibility of human salvation – a condition marked by responsibility towards the other and by an expectation that does not exist post mortem, but in a continuity between earthly and heavenly life. Here, the human being is understood beyond his or her biology and life (its ultimate meaning) beyond the fatalisms of circumstances and its limits (notably the limit of death), which leads to an understanding of life in a sense ‘uncircumscribed’ by death. Instead, death becomes a natural moment of human existence, which should in no way frighten or scare; rather, it is the opening of new horizons - the eschatological horizon that begins in earthly life but does not end with its termination.
Original languageFrench
Place of PublicationBraga
PublisherAxioma - Publicações da Faculdade de Filosofia
Number of pages340
ISBN (Electronic)9789726973492
ISBN (Print)9789726973485
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2022

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