Eschatology as Imagining the End Faith between Hope and Despair
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.
1 What Images of the Last Things Do to Us: Introductory Remarks on Why Eschatology Matters 2 Fear of the Future and Theology of Hope 3 The Revelations of Global Climate Change: A Petro-Eschatology 4 Euthanasia: Does Eschatology Matter? 5 Time Turned into Space – At Home on Earth: Wanderings in Eschatological Spatiality 6 Looking For a Miracle: On the Point of Eschatology 7 Beyond the Limit of Time: A New Quest for Hope 8 Back to the Future 9 Enlightened to Eternity
"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
"[... this anthology] reminds the reader that the borderline of death is not exclusively a theme for theology, but represents an always present limit and condition. Every theology that dares to take this serious is already eschatologic – and contextual."
Sturla Johan Stålsett, Professor of Diaconal Studies, Religion and
Society, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Oslo.