Jürgen Moltmann (born 1926) is a German Protestant theologian; this was his first book.
He states in the Preface to this 1965 work, "The following efforts bear the title Theology of Hope, not because they set out once again to present eschatology as a separate doctrine ... Rather, their aim is to show how theology can set out from hope and begin to consider its theme in an eschatological light. For this reason they enquire into the ground of the hope of Christian faith and into the responsible exercise of this hope in thought and action in the world today."
Moltmann writes, "Christianity is eschatology, is hope, forward looking and forward moving ... A proper theology would therefore have to be constructed in the light of its future goal. Eschatology should not be its end, but its beginning."
"Christianity stands or falls with the reality of the raising of Jesus from the dead by God. In the New Testament there is no faith that does not start a priori with the resurrection of Jesus." Yet he later admits, "What actually happened during the experience of his crucifixion and burial and his Easter appearances, is left in the darkness of the still unknown and still hidden God." He states, "his resurrection must then be understood not as a mere return to life as such, but as a conquest of the deadliness of death---as a conquest of god-forsakenness, as a conquest of judgment and of the curse, as a beginning of the fulfillment of the promised life, and thus as a conquest of all that is dead in death, as a negation of the negative, as a negation of the negation of God."
He concludes on the note, "As a result of this hope in God's future, this present world becomes free in believing eyes from all attempts at self-redemption or self-production through labour, and it becomes open for loving, ministering self-expenditure in the interests of a humanizing of conditions and in the interests of a the realization of justice in light of the coming justice of God. This means, however, that the hope of resurrection must bring about a new understanding of the world."