Modernity, History, and Eschatology

Wolfhart Pannenberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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

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Traditional Christian eschatology affirmed an end of the present world of nature and of human history, when in the future the risen Christ will come again to hold a final judgment, to raise the dead, and to receive those who believe in him to participate in his eternal life that he shares with God the Father. The kingdom of God to come, which had been understood in moral and even political terms by Martin Bucer in the sixteenth century and afterward under his influence, had been reconceived later on in terms of the Christological doctrine of the kingdom of grace entrusted to Christ by the Father, exercised in the life of the church and to be completed in the future kingdom of glory. This article examines modernity, history, and eschatology. It considers Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's conception of history as a process of divine education, the further development of a philosophy of history and theology, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's contributions in the secularization of Christian eschatology.

Keywords: modernity; history; philosophy; theology; kingdom of God; secularization; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing; divine education; Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Article.  3194 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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