Article

Jewish Eschatology

David Novak

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

Published in print December 2007 |
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195170498.003.0007

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Classical Jewish eschatology has always been concerned with the rewards due to righteous individuals and the punishments due to wicked ones in the other world. Eschatology is best conceived in a phenomenology of human hope, originating in this world but intending another. It is a fundamental divine concern, hence it is theological—theology being more of what God has revealed to humans about what he desires from them than what humans themselves can desire from God on their own. When engaging in eschatological research, one should begin with the categories formulated in the rabbinic writings (the Talmud and related literature). The rabbis believed that their eschatological faith was hinted at even in the revelation of the Torah, and that the prophets had prophesied about it even more explicitly. The centerpiece of classical Jewish eschatology is the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Interest in the Messiah and messianism has always been at the heart of the dispute between Jews and Christians.

Keywords: Jews; Christians; Messiah; Torah; resurrection; hope; theology; rabbinic writings; rabbis

Article.  9572 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies

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