And now faith, hope, and love abide.
Paul ends a well known passage of Scripture with these words. He goes on to claim that the greatest is love, but the three taken together — faith, hope, and love — are known as the theological virtues. They are virtues that go above and beyond the classical virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, courage), derived not from the natural state of human life but from a developing relationship with the divine. Today, it would seem odd to call these virtues, and even more odd to call them theological, since does not hope (or love or faith) abide in cultural without the need for God? To begin to understand this, we must begin with time.