Eastern Orthodox Eschatology

Andrew Louth

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

Published in print December 2007 |
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

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There is nothing bleakly agnostic about Orthodox beliefs concerning the afterlife, nor is it the case that awareness of an eschatological dimension is absent. Rather, these beliefs are nourished by the rich liturgical life in which the Orthodox participate, which feeds on the hopes and longings of the scriptures and, in the case of the last things particularly, on the experiences and perceptions of the saints, especially as found in hagiographical writings. At the center of all this—the liturgical experience, the scriptures as understood by the Orthodox, and the transfigured lives and experience of the saints—stands the resurrection of Christ, the ultimate fount of all Christian hope. This article examines the eschatology of the Eastern Orthodox Church and discusses Eucharist as eschatology, universal eschatology, and individual eschatology. It also considers four issues in eschatology: the notion of eternal damnation and the nature of judgment, the question of purgatory, the nature of the resurrection body, and the question of universal salvation.

Keywords: Eastern Orthodox Church; Eucharist; universal eschatology; individual eschatology; eternal damnation; judgment; purgatory; resurrection; universal salvation

Article.  7502 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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