eschatology


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Related to eschatology: Dispensationalism

eschatology

the branch of theology or biblical exegesis concerned with the end of the world

Eschatology

 

the religious doctrine of the final destiny of the world and mankind. Individual eschatology, or the doctrine of life after death of the individual human soul, should be distinguished from universal eschatology, which is concerned with the purpose of the cosmos and history, with their end, and with that which comes after their end.

Ancient Egypt played an important part in the development of individual eschatology, and universal eschatology owes much to Judaism, which focuses on a mystical interpretation of history as a rational process directed by the will of a personal god: history, directed by god, must overcome itself in the coming of the “new heaven and new earth.” Individual eschatology becomes a part of universal eschatology, for the coming of “the age to come” will be the time of the resurrection of the righteous.

Christian eschatology grew out of a Judaic eschatology freed of national aspirations and supplemented by classical, Egyptian, and Zoroastrian eschatological motifs. It proceeded from the belief that the eschatological era had already begun with Jesus Christ (the Messiah). With his first coming, history comes to an end only “invisibly” and continues to last, albeit in the shadow of the end; his second coming (when the Messiah is to judge the living and the dead) will make the end a visible reality.

New Testament eschatology expressed itself in complex symbols and parables, eschewing clarity; nevertheless, the medieval consciousness created a detailed picture of the afterworld, as reflected in countless apocryphal stories and “visions.” On the level of graphically apprehended myths, eschatological motifs are often shared by different religions, such as Islam and Catholicism. With the onset of the age of capitalism, some of the functions, motifs, and themes of eschatology were taken over by the ideology of utopia.

REFERENCES

Dieterich, A. Nekyia. Leipzig, 1893.
Bultmann, R. History and Eschatology. Edinburgh, 1957.

S. S. AVERINTSEV

References in periodicals archive ?
Christian eschatology is the branch of theological study relating to last things, such as concerning death, the end of the world, the judgment of humanity, and the ultimate destiny of humanity (Erickson, 1998:1156).
Eschatology is situated within history rather than at the end of history, and this transposition of the battle of traditional apocalyptic eschatology into the worldly realm is what gives Jeanne motivation at the dramas end to vow resistance to the English invaders.
Furthermore, eschatology itself is foreign to many religious worldviews.
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Book 4 develops the thesis that in modern times eschatology becomes secularized, and reflected in the work of German Idealism, beginning with Lessing, and concluding in the opposed but complementary heritages of Marx and Kierkegaard.
Occidental Eschatology aims to renegotiate the historical synthesis and spiritual legacy of the West through the study of apocalypticism.
7) For as much as this controversy on the intermediate state rages, it seems odd that various studies of Balthasar's eschatology have not highlighted the way Balthasar approaches the topic.
There is undoubtedly a certain illogic in the study or logos of eschatology in that it attempts to describe what is not yet present.
Thus, Cooper seeks to integrate Maximus's ascetic anthropology with his cosmically mediatorial soteriology and eschatology through the Byzantine monk's theology of corporeal deification, with Christ s deified humanity as the linchpin.
My original plan had been to write a book on eschatology in general, but I soon realized that it was impossible to embrace the topic in one book.
But this reluctance is triumphantly challenged in Manuele Gragnolati's excellent book on Dante and medieval eschatology.
Co-edited by Bruce Barber and David Neville, Theodicy And Eschatology is the outstanding result of a conference that addressed two of Christianity's most important modern issues: "Theodicy" which is the belief in a just God in the face of evil and suffering and "God's Echatology" which is the the belief in fulfilment of Jesus' saving mission, experienced as God's healing of humanity afflicted by suffering and evil.