Ethics and Eschatology

Max L. Stackhouse

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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

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Eschatology is recognized as a decisive influence in the understandings of personal and social morality. The ethic conserves traditional patterns of the common life, although that is now being altered by the rapid growth of Christianity in Africa and other tribal regions. Similar primal motifs are present also in both Confucianism and Hinduism, while Buddhism seeks a state of consciousness of “nothingness” that evokes an ultimate bliss, beyond the illusions of external existence. Islam also calls for an asceticism, but of a quite different kind. It calls for a radical obedience to the commands of Allah. For all their differences, all of these religions seem to believe in a moral logic governing time and eternity whereby dutiful and virtuous actions in life are rewarded, and neglectful or vicious ones are punished—partially in this life, but ultimately in a state of existence beyond it. This article examines Christian ethics and eschatology as well as resurrection, the kingdom, and the new Jerusalem.

Keywords: Jerusalem; ethics; Christianity; resurrection; kingdom; asceticism; religions; moral logic; social morality

Article.  7634 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Religious Studies

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