Down to Earth: Moltmann, McFague, and the Search for an Ecological Eschatology Open Access

Floyd, Richard Aubrey (2014)

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Jürgen Moltmann and Sallie McFague offer two contemporary possibilities for an ecological eschatology: one that privileges the Christian narrative (and especially the Easter narrative) and so is deeply hopeful and cosmic in its intent but cannot shake the anthropocentrism and asymmetry that has long stalked Christian eschatological reflection; the other privileging the patterns and processes discernible in human existence in nature as the ground for discerning God's power, thus staying close to the ground (humble) but ultimately despairing of any transcendent power which might create new possibilities not already immanent within cosmic processes. I critique both of these theological visions and trace an alternative eschatology that is both humble (that is, grounded in the humus, the dirt) and also hopeful (grounded in divine creativity). I suggest that a humble hope, a hope that is "down to earth", is grounded finally in beauty: the beauty of the other that draws out the self, the beauty of the redeemed self coming out to meet the other, and the beauty of God that lures forth ever-new fecund possibilities and gathers up all the beautiful and broken creatures into the deepest possible harmony.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: 1

De-creation, Re-creation, New Creation

Chapter 2: Silencing the God of the Whirlwind: 24

Hope and Humility in Jürgen Moltmann

Chapter 3: Subjunctive Faith: 63

Humility and Hope in Sallie McFaguee

Chapter 4: Taking Our Stand with the Dirt: 98

Humility and the Cosmic Process

Chapter 5: "What Beauty Is For": 130

Hope and the Efficacy of Beauty

Chapter 6: Conclusion: 159

Practicing the New Creation

Bibliography 169

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