The Last Judgment

Anna Wierzbicka

in What Did Jesus Mean?

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137330
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867905 | DOI:
The Last Judgment

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This chapter argues that despite various subsequent alterations and expansions, the core of the parable of the Last Judgment does go back to Jesus himself. It stresses (with John Meier 1980) “the stunning universalism” of the story, and once again, it rejects the traditional interpretation of the words “Depart from me, you cursed” in terms of an everlasting “hell.” It highlights the profound transformation that eschatology has undergone in the last few decades, from prediction to warning and appeal. It discusses the symbolic language of both the Old and the New Testaments, drawing, again, on the writings of the seventh‐century mystic Isaac the Syrian, the Orthodox theologian Sergii Bulgakov, the Protestant theologian Juergen Moltmann and the Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Keywords: Urs von Balthasar; Isaac the Syrian; Juergen Moltmann; Sergii Bulgakov; symbolic language

Chapter.  8559 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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