Eschatology and Resurrection

Stephen T. Davis

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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

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Christianity holds that human history and the creation itself are moving in a certain direction. This article is about resurrection, a concept that is firmly embedded in Christian teaching and is crucial to the entire Christian plan of salvation, including eschatology. It discusses four afterlife theories (death ends all, reincarnation, immortality, resurrection) and their relationship to eschatology, and examines Christian teachings about resurrection, both the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of everybody else (the “general resurrection”). It compares four quite different ways of understanding the general resurrection in classical and current Christian thought. It then emphasizes the fact that the Christian notion of resurrection has virtually always been bodily resurrection. In addition, it considers the link between resurrection and contemporary cosmology and comments on the negative eschatological views of those cosmologists who hold that the universe, in its distant future, will pass out of existence from heat death or freezing. Finally, the article discusses the relationship between resurrection and what has been called “the beatific vision.”.

Keywords: Christianity; resurrection; salvation; afterlife; reincarnation; immortality; Jesus; cosmology; beatific vision

Article.  6810 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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