Hope and Otherness : Christian Eschatology in an Interreligious Context
Abstract: This study explores the question of the place and role of the religious Other in contemporary eschatology. It has three basic aims. First, to investigate how and to what extent ‘theological integrity’ of the religious Other is articulated in the eschatologies of some influential contemporary Christian theologians. Second, to compare the analyses of Christian eschatologies with contemporary eschatologies from the Muslim and Jewish traditions. Provided that some of the mechanisms of inclusion, exclusion and assimilation in Christian eschatology are tradition-specific, the purpose is to discern how the religious Other is approached in these non-Christian eschatologies. Third, to explore avenues for reassessing otherness in Christian eschatology. The study is comparative and correlational and applies two heuristic tools, ‘theological space’ and ‘theological interplay’, in its methodological approach. In this study it is also argued that the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion are more subtle than the common approach about whether the religious Other will be ‘saved’ may indicate. By means of presenting a more adequate picture, a distinction between soteriological and eschatological openness is suggested.
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