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DOI 10.12887/32-2019-4-128-10

Ferdi McDERMOTT – “The faith I love best is hope”: Perspectives of Hope from Charles Péguy

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Following calls from recent popes to a rediscovery of the theological virtue of hope, this paper examines a poem dealing specifically with that subject, by Charles Péguy, a French poet who died in 1914 in the early fighting of the First World War. He is a key figure of what has been called the French Catholic revival. His dramatic monologue takes the form of a catechism lesson addressed to the young St. Joan of Arc, in which Hope is portrayed as a little girl. Rooted in a rediscovery of the “real” and under the influence of the philosopher Bergson,  Péguy’s message seems to be that a childlike Hope could be the key to a renewal of Faith and Love, and perhaps to a re-energizing of the Christian message. Péguy wrote his poem at a time when France was deeply traumatized by the Franco-Prussian war, the Dreyfus scandal and the anti-clerical purge of the early 20th century. It was a society that had lost is bearings. Many themes of his day are strangely current in our own. 

Keywords: Charles Péguy, Bergson, Mysteries, medievalism, suffering, hope, Joan of Arc, Charles Péguy, French Catholic revival

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  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887