Eschatology and Epistemology

William J. Abraham

in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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

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Eschatology represents the climax of a rich narrative of creation and redemption in which God as supreme agent preserves and restores the world from its collapse into sin and death. Eschatological claims have been deeply contested in Christian theology and philosophy in the recent past. In part, the worries about eschatology have often been driven by epistemological concerns that have deep roots in the beginning of modern philosophy. Some leading theologians have made eschatology the heartbeat of their theology, as in the case of Jürgen Moltmann. Wolfhart Pannenberg went further and made it central to his epistemology of theology. Epistemology is generally understood as the critical investigation of rationality, justification, and knowledge. While the intellectual omnicompetence of natural science has always been challenged, eschatology in the modern period has lived under the shadow of forms of positivism that have materially and formally cast doubt on its intrinsic credibility. The retrieval of a robust vision of eschatology goes hand in hand with the retrieval of a substantial vision of divine revelation.

Keywords: God; epistemology; creation; theology; philosophy; rationality; positivism; divine revelation

Article.  7406 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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