Hope is not some superficial comfort, but that which persists and sustains humanity even when it might seem unreasonable. Hope joins faith and love as one of the theological virtues and undergirds the Christian’s way of living in the world. The Christian tradition gives voice to grief, lament, and mourning. Jesus’ words on the Cross proclaim an experience of divine abandonment and despair, but the story does not end there. 

For this conference, we turn to the following questions for further reflection: In a world that undermines hope and seems entirely hopeless, how do we persevere? What tools and practices do we have in our tradition(s) to sustain hope and action when it seems pointless? How do both lament and hope relate to Christian ideas of flourishing and the good life? What are the ethical implications of a dialectic between mourning and hopefulness? How do Christian notions of hope relate to inter-religious dialogue and the hope of other faiths? How might liturgical practices deepen the relationship between lament and hope?

This student conference will bring together the various disciplines of theology and religious studies to explore the twin topics of lament and hope.