Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter re-evaluates the sources and directions of twentieth-century eschatological thought, that is, of reflections on the Christian hope for ‘the last things’. The chapter opens with a sketch of the sources of 20th-century developments in the 19th century. Although 19th-century eschatology was dominated by assimilation to the age’s general meliorism, the roots of early 20th-century eschatologies of crisis are found here, for example in the work of Franz Overbeck. A second section examines in depth the eschatological responses of theologians to the crisis of the First World War, both existential (Barth, Bultmann, Gogarten) and political (Peterson). A third section details the dominant eschatologies of the post-war years, particularly Moltmann’s and Pannenberg’s, which rethink the eschatological future as retroactive. A fourth and final section examines the shift of eschatological discourse from a speculative to a pragmatic register in confrontation with the ‘eschatological’ ambitions of biological and digital technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEdinburgh critical history of twentieth-century Christian theology
EditorsPhilip G. Ziegler
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781474488877
ISBN (Print)9781474488846
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameThe Edinburgh critical history of Christian theology


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