Hope in Hard Times

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Supporters gather at the election night party for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at Grant Park in Chicago, Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
Supporters of Barack Obama at Grant Park in Chicago on election night, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP)

Yes, baby, it's cold outside. There's economic meltdown, and war, and every week some fresh news of global warming. But there's also hope — and its good, tough sisters determination, smarts, and hard work.

Rush Limbaugh mocks hope. Calls it a sentiment for fools. Barack Obama made it his campaign theme. Americans voted. But what is hope? And how does it work — even now?

This hour, On Point: Theologian Martin Marty and physician Jerome Groopman on hope.

You can join the conversation. Are you feeling hope? Where does it come from? Faith in God? Faith in your fellow men and women?  Do you believe in the power of hope? Is it vital? Can we live without it?Guests:

Martin Marty, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he taught for 35 years. He has been a pastor in the Lutheran Church since 1952, and he is the author of many books, including "Our Hope for Years to Come: The Search for Spiritual Sanctuary" and "The One and the Many: America’s Struggle for the Common Good."

Jerome Groopman, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He writes about medicine and biology for The New Yorker and other publications, and is author of several books, including "The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness."

This program aired on December 24, 2008.


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