Eschatology and Politics

Stephen H. Webb

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Religion
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religious Studies
  • Christianity


Show Summary Details


No theologian has done more to show the political significance of eschatology than Jürgen Moltmann. For Moltmann, the subject matter of all theology should be focused on hope, and eschatology is the doctrine where Christian hope is most explicitly formulated. Moreover, Moltmann thinks that hope, more than love, is the Christian virtue most relevant for politics. If God intervenes at the end of history in order to silence all of our struggles and passions, then history is rendered meaningless. Moltmann identifies this catastrophic version of eschatology with apocalypticism. Moltmann did not repudiate liberation theology's advocacy of socialism as the primary means for advancing the kingdom agenda. In The Coming of God, Moltmann clarified his distinction between eschatology and apocalypticism by addressing the issue of millennialism. This article examines eschatology and politics, focusing on the views of Moltmann and the alternative views of George Weigel, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and Oliver O'Donovan. It also discusses providence versus eschatology and Whittaker Chambers's views on the eschatological challenge of Communism, as well as the politics of progressive premillennialism.

Keywords: Moltmann; politics; George Weigel; Wolfhart Pannenberg; providence; Communism; apocalypticism; millennialism

Article.  8518 words. 

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

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.