‘Hope – Rev Dr Norman Shanks’

Please click here to view this documentary from the homepage of Moving Image archive, National Library of Scotland.

“People just use the word ‘hope’ as an alternative to optimism…But ‘hope’ really understood is more focused, something more than being optimistic…If you take a stage further, hope can be seen and can be understood as having significance for oneself that one is hoping to do something, to get involved in something, to make a plan for something…From the Christian perspective, there’s a deeper dimension…God’s promise of new life…a promise that things can be different. Another world is possible…From a Christian perspective, hope is bound up with faith and love….”

Rev Dr Norman Shanks, a retired Church of Scotland Minister and the former Leader of the Iona Community, continues his talk on hope by pausing a question: “How can one be hopeful in the middle of adversity, when things are going really badly?”

He concludes his talk by referring to the myth of Pandora’s box. When the box was opened, all the bad things came out, leaving hope. What does this imply?


Directed, Filmed and Edited by: Yushin Toda
Produced by Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda, Japan Desk Scotland
15 minutes
In English with English subtitles
© Japan Desk Scotland 2016


This is part of Documentary Films Production, and it has been shown:

(1) on Wednesday 26 April 2017 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2016/17;

(2) on Thursday 22 June 2017 at the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Inclusive Glasgow – Documentaries’ event. The event was part of the West End Festival;

(3) on Monday 11 June 2018 at University of Glasgow Chapel, as part of ‘Hope – Documentaries’ event;

(4) on Thursday 5 July 2018 at Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences, Fukushima University, Japan; and

(5) on Friday 13 July 2018 at National Oshima College of Maritime Technology, Yamaguchi, Japan.