Natasha Moore is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney. She has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and is the author of ‘Victorian Poetry and Modern Life: The Unpoetical Age’ and ‘For the Love of God: How the church is better and worse than you ever imagined’. She recently discovered she is an optimist.
The way that I started thinking about this topic was that I read some things about cultural pessimism; that as individuals we have either optimistic or pessimistic bents. But I think as a culture, the way we think about how our collective life is going – is it getting better and better, or is it falling apart – we’ve come down on the more negative side of that ... you can judge the distinctions between prudence and pessimism by its outcomes: do our concerns for the future make us more engaged, more eager to meet the challenges ... or do they make us paralysed and apathetic.