By Nik Ansell
A couple of months ago (on March 5, 2015), we had a book launch event at ICS for my monograph, The Annihilation of Hell: Universal Salvation and the Redemption of Time in the Eschatology of Jürgen Moltmann . Before I said a few words to introduce the book, Jim Olthuis, my ICS promotor for the dissertation version that I defended at the VU, Amsterdam, and Jon Stanley, one of my own ICS doctoral students, also my RA, who helped me get the published version into shape, also spoke. So together, we represented three generations of ongoing ICS work in philosophical theology. After thanking Jim and Jon for their kind words, I introduced my presentation, which is reproduced below, with the following question:I wonder if anyone knows which famous person said the following: “Hope is a tease designed to prevent us from accepting reality.”
I’ll give you a clue:
The year is 1924.
Remarkably, the identical words, with the same intonation, are also uttered 90 years later.
The place is England.
The speaker is someone who resists all historical change.
But she is also known and loved for her withering wit.
Despite her name, she is no shrinking Violet.
She is a central character in a historical drama.
Played by Maggie Smith.
The one and only Dowager Countess of Grantham (Violet Crawley).
Downton Abbey, season five; episode four.