Master class on "On Hope" by Josef Pieper

Jul 21, 2017
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Open to currently enrolled undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Copies of the readings will be provided for participants via web link.

The first of Josef Pieper’s three books on each of the theological virtues, On Hope was written in 1934 in response to the general feeling of despair in Europe leading up to World War II. Pieper seeks to reinvigorate the meaning of hope as a properly theological virtue that identifies our happiness in the anticipation of our reunion with our creator.

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was one of the most well known Thomist philosophers of the twentieth century. Schooled in the thought of Plato and St. Thomas Aquinas, he also studied philosophy, law, and sociology, and he was a professor at the University of Munster, West Germany. His numerous books include Leisure, the Basis of Culture; The Silence of St. Thomas; Happiness and Contemplation; and The End of Time: A Meditation on the Philosophy of History.


  • How are hope and optimism different?
  • How does theological hope differ from non-theological hope?
  • What is the relationship of hope to love? To trust? To fear? To gratitude?
  • How are the grounds of hope and our understanding of them affected by cultural trends such as liberalism, secularism, progressivism and nihilism?
  • Do you recognize manifestations in yourself and/or your acquaintances of acedia (sloth)?  If so, what do you think are the causes?



1:30pm            Coffee & Tea
2:00pm            Welcome
2:15pm            Session I
3:30pm            Break
3:45pm            Session II
5:00pm            End, Wine & Cheese Reception