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The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology

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Eschatology is the study of the last things: death, judgment, the afterlife, and the end of the world. Through centuries of Christian thoughtfrom the early Church fathers through the Middle Ages and the Reformationthese issues were of the utmost importance. In other religions, too, eschatological concerns were central. After the Enlightenment, though, 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 worlds most important theologians have returned eschatology to its former position of prominence. The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology will provide an important critical survey of this diverse body of thought and practice from a variety of perspectives: biblical, historical, theological, philosophical, and cultural. This volume will be the primary resource for students, scholars, and others interested in questions of our ultimate existence.

Resource Experts
  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the essential issues pertaining to eschatology
  • Features an important critical survey of this diverse body of thought and practice from a variety of perspectives
  • Examines the biblical, historical, theological, philosophical, and cultural issues

Part I: Historical Eschatology

  • A. Biblical and Patristic Eschatology
  • B. Eschatology in World Religions

Part II: Eschatology in Distinct Christian Traditions and Theological Movements

Part III: Issues in Eschatology

  • A. Theological Issues
  • B. Philosophical and Cultural Issues

Top Highlights

“Faith is thus essentially future directed, and its certainty hinges upon events we do not yet see.” (Page 5)

“well. Things will reach their end when they achieve the purposes for which God created them” (Pages 4–5)

The book is comprehensive and thorough. It serves as both a useful reference work and as an opportunity to engage, in a deepy way, with an idea that has long played such a significant role in the various religious traditions and in the lives of the faithful...it will be richly rewarding and consistently useful.

Journal of Ecumenical Studies

  • Title: The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology
  • Author: Jerry L. Walls
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2008
  • Logos Release Date: 2021
  • Pages: 724
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Subject: Eschatology
  • ISBNs: 9780199735884, 0199735883
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T20:34:12Z

Jerry L. Walls is an expert on Christian views of the afterlife and a sought-after speaker. He has written for Christianity Today, is the author of Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy and Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation, and is the coauthor of Why I Am Not a Calvinist.


2 ratings

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  1. Ray Mills

    Ray Mills


    This also allows for comparisons with other world religions' eschatologies -- very helpful to know such information to help engage those of other faiths.
  2. Paul Jeffrey Nord
    Looking at the Table of Contents, this book has chapters on Muslim Eschatology, Buddhist Eschatology, Hindu Eschatology etc. While interesting, these have limited applicability to Jewish and Christian Biblical Eschatology. Thus this book has less usefulness (for me, at least) than I would have expected from the book title.