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Eschatology

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-K016-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K016-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 16, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/eschatology/v-1

Article Summary

Eschatology is the study of or doctrine about the end of history or the last things. Eschatology is a branch of Christian theology, and the term still finds its primary home in that context, but it is also used broadly to cover any theory about the end of human life or of the world.

There are many types of eschatological theory. Some of the most important are those of Plato, Vedāntic Hinduism, Karl Marx and Christianity. The contemporary philosopher of religion who makes most use of eschatology in his thinking is doubtless John Hick. There are several issues that are of interest to philosophers in the area of eschatology. Among them are such questions as whether there is good reason to believe that human life and/or history are moving towards a final end; whether personal identity problems are solvable in the eschaton (the end-state); whether eschatological considerations can help philosophers address other philosophical problems (for example, the problem of evil); whether the very notion of disembodied survival of death is coherent; and how (in Christian theology especially) immortality of the soul and bodily resurrection are related.

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Citing this article:
Davis, Stephen T.. Eschatology, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K016-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/eschatology/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

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