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Hope and people living without Hope: An Old Testament and Contemporary Perspectives

MI Okwueze, PO Agbo

Abstract


In the Old Testament, there are countless incidences and record of experiences and conditions that led many into depression. People with debilitating diseases like leprosy (Lev.13), loathsome sores (Job 2) and other ‘strange’ diseases suffered considerably. Their pains included not only the effect of the affliction but the attitude of the people among whom they lived which involved stigmatization and rejection. Just like those who became hopeless as a result of health complication and disease, many in the Old Testament Jewish society suffered quite remarkably. In juxtaposition with the contemporary Nigerian society, the condition of the aforementioned group seems to be very similar. Now and then, disasters, religious and ethnic riots, militant insurgence, youth unrest etc have left many Nigerians in utter hopelessness. Terminally ill patients and others with serious health problems have not faired any better in our society today. Many are in a very deplorable state with shattered hope of survival. It is based on the foregoing submissions that this work has among other salient things, dialectically examined the efficacy of hope in the lives of the hopeless. Suggestions on how the therapeutic cum ‘placating’ concept (hope) could be harnessed and utilized became one of the major thrusts of this paper.