The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology
Edited by Jerry L. Walls
This book provides an important critical survey of eschatology from a variety of perspectives—biblical, historical, theological, philosophical, and cultural. Eschatology is the study of the last things—death, judgment, the afterlife, and the end of the world. Through centuries of Christian thought, from the early Church fathers through the Middle Ages and the Reformation, these issues were of the utmost importance. In other religions, eschatological concerns were also central. After the Enlightenment, many religious thinkers began to downplay the importance of eschatology which, in light of rationalism, came to be seen as something of an embarrassment. The twentieth century, however, saw the rise of phenomena that placed eschatology back at the forefront of religious thought. From the rapid expansion of fundamentalist forms of Christianity, with their focus on the end times, to the proliferation of apocalyptic new religious movements, to the recent (and very public) debates about suicide, martyrdom, and paradise in Islam, interest in eschatology is once again on the rise. In addition to its popular resurgence, in recent years some of the world's most important theologians have returned eschatology to its former position of prominence.
- Oxford University Press
- Print Publication Date:
- Dec 2007
- Published to Oxford Handbooks Online:
- Sep 2009