Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Abstract

This study aimed to expand psychological research on hope by contributing a construct and scale to measure central dimensions of theistic eschatological hope derived from Christian scriptures. Eschatological hope was conceptualized as the anticipation that God will make all things new, raising people to everlasting life with God in joyful celebration, including people from every culture and nation, ending all personal pain and suffering, eliminating all societal evil and harm, and bringing reconciliation and healing to all of creation. We developed the Eschatological Hope Scale with three studies (N = 1,466). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported the single-factor structure of a 6-item scale with excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's α > .91) and good test-retest reliability. The Eschatological Hope Scale evidenced construct validity, showing significant non-redundant correlations with measures of temporal hope, religiosity, and spirituality. The Eschatological Hope Scale scores positively correlated with gratitude, forgivingness, and life hardship patience. Scores inversely correlated with depressed and anxious symptoms, negative religious coping, and negative attitudes toward God. Scores were not significantly correlated with extrinsic religiosity and searching for meaning. The Eschatological Hope Scale demonstrated incremental validity beyond other variables (hope and optimism, depression and anxiety, and religiosity) to predict three target variables: perceived presence of meaning in life, ultimate meaning, and flourishing. We offer the Eschatological Hope Scale as a gateway scale to catalyze further developments in measuring eschatological hope. We hope this work will facilitate research on the experience of living with ultimate hope across cultures and faith traditions, in seasons of suffering and celebration.

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Psychology Commons

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