Tragic Optimism, Moving from Fear to Hope

March 12th, 2020

The Cupboard is joined this week by guest Dr. Lynn DuMerton.  
We speak with Dr. DuMerton about her work helping moms who struggle with addiction and judgment and fear, to bond with their young children.
Lynn helps run the Sanctuary programme at Union Gospel Mission. The programme works with moms and their children aged 0-6.
Through a consideration of this programme and a consideration of Lynn's previous work on "tragic optimism" we look at how fear can come to motivate so much of our thought and action. Tragic optimism (having a sense of hope even in circumstances of suffering) is marked by a number of factors including acceptance that we will face difficulty, and that such sorrow or suffering is not fairly manifest. We consider self-transcendence, the concept that we often find hope in the process of helping others, in the perspective of seeing their pain.  Lynn mentions, that in her work helping moms bond with their children, it is important to help remove fear as a motivator. She points out that healthy bonds cannot be established if the child is scared of the parent.
Have we grasped this yet as a theological concept? Why do we often think that being scared of God is a good thing? How can we work out better theological concepts and healthier bonds in our spiritual lives?
We begin the episode with a consideration of Covid 19 fear around the world.  The article we discuss can be found at:
We speak with Lynn about a hockey programme in a First Nations community in Manitoba. For information about this programme follow the link below:
This episode of the Rector's Cupboard was recorded at North Point Brewing in North Vancouver.
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