Eschatology in Christian Feminist Theologies

Rosemary Radford Ruether

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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

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Christian eschatology is a complex combination of ideas and themes that synthesizes three ancient traditions of eschatological hope: Jewish futurism, Zoroastrian apocalyptic, and the Greco-Oriental soul journey. This article examines these three historical roots of eschatology and their synthesis in Judaism and Christianity. It points out the gender and class biases found in these classical patterns of eschatology, looks at the revision of Christian eschatology in nineteenth-century progressive millennialism, and shows how early feminist theology adapted both millennialist hope and belief in personal immortality. The article then examines the critique and revision of eschatological hope in several major feminist theologians of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries: Marjorie Suchocki, Catherine Keller, Ivone Gebara, Delores Williams, and Rosemary Ruether. It also considers the ancient Near East roots of Christian eschatological thought, the development of Christian eschatology, crises and reinterpretation of Christian eschatology in modern Western thought, and feminist theology and eschatology in the late twentieth century.

Keywords: Christianity; futurism; apocalyptic; soul journey; Judaism; progressive millennialism; feminist theology; ancient Near East; Marjorie Suchocki

Article.  6725 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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