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The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology [Paperback]

By Jurgen Moltmann (Author) & Margaret Kohl (Translator)
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Item description for The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology by Jurgen Moltmann & Margaret Kohl...

Taking up the theme of hope (as opposed to the medieval emphasis on love and the Reformers' on faith), Moltmann sees eschatology as primarily new beginnings.

Publishers Description
Winner of Grawemeyer Award In this remarkable and timely work - in many ways the culmination of his systematic theology - world-renowned theologian Jurgen Moltmann stands Christian eschatology on its head. Moltmann rejects the traditional approach, which focuses on the End, an apocalyptic finale, as a kind of Christian search for the "final solution." He centers instead on hope and God's promise of new creation for all things. "Christian eschatology," he says, "is the remembered hope of the raising of the crucified Christ, so it talks about beginning afresh in the deadly end." Yet Moltmann's novel framework, deeply informed by Jewish and messianic thought, also fosters rich and creative insights into the perennially nettling questions of eschatology: Are there eternal life and personal identity after death? How is one to think of heaven, hell, and purgatory? What are the historical and cosmological dimensions of Christian hope? What are its social and political implications. In a heartbreakingly fragile and fragment world, Moltmann's comprehensive eschatology surveys the Christian vista, bravely envisioning our "horizons of expectation" for personal, social, even cosmic transformation in God.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Fortress Press
Pages   390
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.57" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  080063666X  
ISBN13  9780800636661  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jurgen Moltmann & Margaret Kohl

Jurgen Moltmann Jürgen Moltmann (born 8 April 1926) is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen. Moltmann is a major figure in modern theology and was the recipient of the 2000 University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and was also selected to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1984-1985. He has made significant contributions to a number of areas of Christian theology, including systematic theology, eschatology, ecclesiology, political theology, Christology, pneumatology, and the theology of creation.

Influenced heavily by Karl Barth's theology, Hegel's philosophy of history, and Ernst Bloch's philosophy of hope, Moltmann developed his own form of liberation theology predicated on the view that God suffers with humanity, while also promising humanity a better future through the hope of the Resurrection, which he has labelled a 'theology of hope'. Much of Moltmann's work has been to develop the implications of these ideas for various areas of theology. While much of Moltmann's early work was critiqued by some as being non-Trinitarian, during the latter stages of his career Moltmann has become known for developing a form of Social Trinitarianism. His two most famous works are Theology of Hope and The Crucified God.

Jurgen Moltmann has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Concilium: Theology in the Age of Renewal
  2. Paternoster Theological Monographs

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Eschatology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Systematic Theology > Eschatology & End Times

Reviews - What do customers think about The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology?

A very dense read... but worth the time  May 20, 2004
"Christian eschatology has nothing to do with apocalyptic `final solutions' ...[o]n the contrary, what it is about is the new creation of all things" (Moltmann 1996, xi). So begins Moltmann's book immediately in the preface explaining the purpose of the book: this book is not about the popular notion of eschatology defined as the last things: rather, the author views the `end' as the beginning. Moltmann defines Christian eschatology under for `horizons:'

1. It is hope in God for God's glory.
2. It is hope in God for the new creation of the world.
3. It is hope in God for the history of human beings with the earth.
4. It is the hope in God for the resurrection and eternal life of human people. (Moltmann 1996, xvi).

The book is breathtaking in scope: Moltmann engages many different areas of study throughout the book, interacting primarily with theology, but often touching on history, philosophy, science, and sociology. He is clearly interested in engaging people and ideas from the ground up: hardly a chapter or section of the book is just him expounding on what he will; it's always in response to or interaction with. There are five chapters in the book looking at eschatology from five different viewpoints: eschatology today, and then personal, historical, cosmic, and divine eschatology.

The first chapter discusses eschatology today, and really is a survey meant to show what past and present thinkers have written in regards to how they view the topic. Such authors as Albert Schweitzer, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Franz Rosenzweig and Walter Benjamin are discussed and evaluated. Ultimately, Moltmann sees the "eschaton [as] neither the future of time nor timeless eternity. It is God's coming and his arrival" (Moltmann 1996, 22). This is to say that God is continually coming into his creation: it's not a matter of some set future time when he will `return.'

In chapter two, Moltmann looks at personal eschatology, looking at such subjects as Life and Death (49ff), Immorality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Body (58ff), Death as the Consequence of Sin or Life's Natural End (77ff), and finally the question of Where are the Dead (96ff)? Having wrapped all of these things together, Moltmann concludes that "[t]he crucified Christ consoles us by bringing the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit into the abysses of our suffering and the hell of our we can believe in victory of life over death (cf John 19.9)" (Moltmann 1996, 127).

Chapter three looks at the historical concepts of eschatology and covers everything from political eschatology (131ff) to `Christ's descent into hell and the restoration of all things' (250ff). Moltmann concludes having looked at the historical perspectives that "[t]he eschatological doctrine about the restoration of all things has these two sides: God's Judgment, which puts things right, and God's kingdom, which awakens new life" (Moltmann 1996, 255).

Chapter four examines cosmic eschatology and looks at the questions of what will happen to creation. Is all of creation bound to be completely destroyed, or is the idea more that everything will be restored and made fresh? Again, many different movements are looked at and discussed, with Moltmann ultimately discussing the earth as the dwelling place of heaven (Rev. 22), and "[t]he presence of the divine life becomes the inexhaustible source of creaturely life, which thereby becomes the life that is eternal" (Moltmann 1996, 319).

Finally in chapter five, Moltmann evaluates divine eschatology in looking at the very character of God in self-glorification and realization, as well as God's interaction with humanity and the fullness of God in eternal joy. The book concludes with a three words summary: Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory).

As the title for my review states, this is a very dense read and will take a while to comprehend: this is not just a light, energetic read. However, this book flips much of popular Christian Eschatalogical presuppositions on it's head, and is well worth the read.

Making Christianity Interesting Again  Dec 1, 2002
Having searched long and hard for a systematic treatment of Christian eschatology, I at last lighted upon this excellent book by Jurgen Moltmann. What I find compelling about this and all of Moltmann's works is the uncompromising consistency of his basic line of thought. With respect to this book in particular, I found his clarity of exposition and breadth of examination particularly refreshing and insightful.

My favorite part of this book is the first section, "The Coming God: Eschatology Today." Here, Moltmann judiciously treats of his recent predecessors, showing the inadequacies of their theological compromises. Along with this, he provides an informative and fascinating discussion of modern Jewish thought as it bears on the issue of messianic eschatology.

I also found Moltmann providing a strong case for universalism on pp. 240ff. As for the more "cosmic" side of Moltmann's thinking, while I certainly see its importance, I could do without some of the speculations. Again, though, if consistency is a mark of a good thinker, than I must tip my hat to Moltmann even here.

This book is a must read for anyone who sincerely wants to understand Christian eschatology, and who wants to avoid the fog of contemporary fantasy surrounding this pivotal part of our spiritual heritage.

The Standard Bearer for Christian Eschatology  Dec 22, 2000
The importance of this book should not be underestimated. At times when fundamentalist Christianity has flooded popular understanding of Christian eschatology, Moltmann succeeds at presenting a real attempt to come grips with Christian beliefs about the consumation of all things. One could only wish that the theses and propositions in this book could gain a popular following outside academic circle as well.

Moltmann is an eclectic thinker who enters into dialogue with various thinkers from Bloch to Washington to Hegel to Fukuyama, etc. His style is highly readable while remaining profound. This work succeeds best in integrating various traditions throughout history into a new, better-informed presentation. A number of perspectives are included into dialogue with the Christian one: rabbinic, philosophical, and political.

Moltmann also roots himself strongly within biblical parameters while simultaneously dealing with the quizical difficulties involved in drawing conclusions from such a varied document. Overall, this work will perhaps prove to be the most valuable theological treatise on eschatology one-hundred years from now.

Recommended for interested lay people, pastors, students, and seminarians.

Gearing up for the 21st century  Feb 6, 2000
This book by Prof. Moltmann is timely as it is important. Prof. Moltmann was one of the major theological voices that rescued the eschatological perpspective of the Scriptures. As a consequence the renewed sense of hope for the individual and the world despite the terrors and tragedies of history has found expression in political and liberation theologies. This work by Moltamnn serves as a superb recapitualtion of the themes he has worked out in his theological enterprise beginning with, A Theology of Hope. He has kept alive the Pauline vision of universal cosmic transfiguration so that nothing for the good is wasted in this world despite its incompletness. This is a work that reminds Christians that we are still on the way working with the Lord and others in the transforming mission of the Lord prefigured in the resurrection and completed in the Parousia. Such a theology reminds us not to despair, God is here and is Coming!
Recapturing the Broken Spirit  Dec 31, 1999
For over twenty years I have worked diligently to interpret the Christian Concept of Eschatology for those seeking to grasp its basic concepts as they relate to Biblical scholarship. Finally, a theologian of considerable importance in the academic world has broken through the cultural baggage that characterizes so much of today's religious understanding and clearly presented a forceful, scholarly and readable presentation of what many have mistakenly refered to as, "The Second Coming." Moltmann is at his best when he offers reflections on death, dying and grief. Had this book been marketed more effectively, He would have emerged as the premire commentator on the death experience and our response to it. I honestly believe that my reading of this particular book as it relates to this subject was one of those discoveries that makes for surprise and joy.

It must also be noted that this book is not for the fundamentalist oriented unless they are willing to suffer some major challenges to their thought, for Moltmann sits clearly within the European tradition and quotes significantly from the likes of Bloch, Rosenzweig and Luther.

He is no stranger to eclectic thought and does a superb job of reminding Americans who carefully consider at his thought how shallow American Theology can be if it does not take into account centuries of reflection from nations whose cultural experiences and political history are different.

All that aside, if you are a working Pastor or young theologian or seminarian, or a Lay person seeking some exposure to serious theological thought this book is for you. If you are not well versed in theological thought and religious philosophy, look elswhere for nourishment.

A personal note, if there has been a presentation of Biblical interpretation for the mid-life blues that so many Pastors, teachers and others experience, this book goes a long way towards renewing and restoring the spirit. But, keep in mind you need to read slowly, carefully and with a passion for expanding the mind.


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