"If Christian hope is reduced to the salvation of the soul in a heaven beyond death," wrote Jürgen Moltmann, "it loses its power to renew life and change the world, and its flame is quenched." Thomas Rausch, SJ, agrees, arguing that too often the hoped-for eschaton has been replaced by an almost exclusive emphasis on the "four last things"-death and judgment, heaven and hell. But eschatology cannot be reduced to the individual salvation.
In his new book, Rausch explores eschatology's intersections with Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and, perhaps most intriguingly, liturgy. With the early Christians, he sees God's future as a radically social reality, already present initially in Christian worship, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist. This fresh and insightful work of theology engages voices both ancient and contemporary.
Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, is the T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles He is author of numerous books, including Being Catholic in a Culture of Choice (2006), I Believe in God: A Reflection on the Apostles' Creed (2008), and Educating for Faith and Justice: Catholic Higher Education Today (2010), all published by Liturgical Press.