Eschatology as Imagining the End: Faith between Hope and Despair, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Eschatology as Imagining the End

Faith between Hope and Despair, 1st Edition

Edited by Sigurd Bergmann


188 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-06-27
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As society becomes more concerned with the future of our planet, the study of apocalypse and eschatology become increasingly pertinent. Whether religious or not, peoples’ views on this topic can have a profound effect on their attitudes to issues such as climate change and social justice and so it cannot be ignored. This book investigates how different approaches in historical and contemporary Christian theology make sense in reflecting about the final things, or the eschata, and why it is so important to consider their multi-faceted impact on our lives.

A team of Nordic scholars analyse historical and contemporary eschatological thinking in a broad range of sources from theology and other related disciplines, such as moral philosophy, art history and literature. Specific social and environmental challenges, such as the Norwegian Breivik massacre in 2011, climatic change narratives and the ambiguity of discourses about euthanasia are investigated in order to demonstrate the complexity and significance of modes of thinking about the end times.

This book addresses the theology of the end of the world in a more serious academic tone than it is usually afforded. As such, it will be of great interest to academics working in eschatology, practical theology, religious studies and the philosophy of religion.


"This well-written volume showcases the creativity and excellence of Nordic scholarship. The serious treatment of the last things will make this book interesting for scholars specializing in eschatology, practical theology, religious studies, as well as philosophy of religion. Seminary-trained pastors will turn an ear to the highly accessible content and see ways in which they can craft socially relevant eschatologies in their ministry contexts."

- Brandon F. Babcock, Reading Religion

"The new theological-philosophical reflection on the relevance of Christian eschatology to contemporary soci-ety, which is undertaken in this work, remains certainly to be commended."

- Raymond R. Hausoul, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven, NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion

Table of Contents

1 What Images of the Last Things Do to Us: Introductory Remarks on Why Eschatology Matters

Sigurd Bergmann

2 Fear of the Future and Theology of Hope

Paul Leer-Salvesen

3 The Revelations of Global Climate Change: A Petro-Eschatology

Marion Grau

4 Euthanasia: Does Eschatology Matter?

Tage Kurtén

5 Time Turned into Space – At Home on Earth: Wanderings in Eschatological Spatiality

Sigurd Bergmann

6 Looking For a Miracle: On the Point of Eschatology

Kjetil Hafstad

7 Beyond the Limit of Time: A New Quest for Hope

Cristina Grenholm

8 Back to the Future

Carl Reinhold Bråkenhielm

9 Enlightened to Eternity

Theodor Jørgensen

About the Editor

Sigurd Bergmann is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. His interests include theology, studies of religion and the environment, and religion, arts and architecture, and he has published multiple books and articles including, Religion, Space & the Environment (2014), Religion in the Anthropocene (2017), God in Context (2013), and In the Beginning Is the Icon (2009).

About the Series

Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies

The Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies series brings high quality research monograph publishing back into focus for authors, international libraries, and student, academic and research readers. This open-ended monograph series presents cutting-edge research from both established and new authors in the field. With specialist focus yet clear contextual presentation of contemporary research, books in the series take research into important new directions and open the field to new critical debate within the discipline, in areas of related study, and in key areas for contemporary society.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Philosophy
RELIGION / Christian Theology / General
RELIGION / Christian Theology / Eschatology
RELIGION / Christianity / General
RELIGION / Eschatology
RELIGION / Theology
RELIGION / Religion & Science