“Teach Me To Do What’s Right”: Faith, Hope, and Love as Post-Religious Virtues

Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 20 (3) (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


According to Thomas Aquinas, what distinguishes the theological from the cardinal virtues is the nature of their object: the latter aim at the natural excellence of humans, while the former direct us beyond ourselves to focus on the Divine. This paper considers the cinematic work of Drew Goddard — in particular, his 2018 film _Bad Times at the El Royale_ — as a post-religious response to Aquinas, insofar as it retains and re-presents Faith, Hope, and Love as valuable elements of the human experience itself, even in the absence of a supernatural vector of their application. After the fashion of Caputo’s Derrida, I offer a religionless interpretation of each of the three theological virtues and show how _Bad Times_ itself deconstructs the roles of ‘god’ and ‘human,’ interchanging them in a way that manifests a “religionless religion” wherein the theological virtues can remain vibrant, even without the theological structure that might be expected to undergird them. In short: _Bad Times at the El Royale_ demonstrates how even if God is dead, Faith, Hope, and Love are not.

Author's Profile

A. G. Holdier
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


Added to PP

79 (#68,175)

6 months
21 (#64,931)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?