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

  • Susana Vilas Boas (Student)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Starting from Paul Ricoeur's thinking on history-time and memory-forgetfulness, weseek 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 maybe) and to look forward to the future with hope. Paul Ricoeur's proposal seems to indicate notonly 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 thesisthat only forgiveness, understood in a Christian-theological perspective, can be a link and apath of possibility for true hope. In this study, therefore, we seek to understand the concepts ofhistory-time and memory-forgetting beyond Ricoeurian perspectives, thus being able tounderstand the scope and implications of forgiveness for a historical continuity and for a hopebeyond contingency and earthly circumstances. From a theological point of view, hope and10history are presented ‘hand in hand’ under the sign of promise and eschatology, whereforgiveness is thought of in a personal way (between human beings), without denying – butrather including – the presence and action of God. In this case, forgiveness is presented not onlyas a gift offered, but as a condition of possibility of human salvation – a condition marked byresponsibility towards the other and by an expectation that does not exist post mortem, but in acontinuity between earthly and heavenly life. Here, the human being is understood beyond hisor her biology and life (its ultimate meaning) beyond the fatalisms of circumstances and itslimits (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.
Date of Award21 Jan 2022
Original languageFrench
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Manuel Duque (Supervisor) & Johan Verstraeten (Co-Supervisor)


  • Doutoramento em Teologia

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