Icons of Hope
The "Last Things" in Catholic Imagination
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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title Page, Copyright Page
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Once again, I have been fortunate to have the experience of justhow communal a project writing a book is. So much of it seems to bea solitary exercise, and so much of it is. But all the hours of readingand writing alone would be so much less productive—if they could beproductive at all—were they not informed by insights gained through...
Chapter 1: For What May We Hope?
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In an essay entitled “Last Things First? The Century of Escha-tology in Retrospect,” Christoph Schwöbel observes that the twenti-eth century “could correctly be called the century of eschatology.”1Inthe first years of the century, Albert Schweitzer’s groundbreaking workThe Quest of the Historical Jesus(1906) highlighted the eschatological...
Chapter 2: Imagining the Life of the Blessed Dead
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...option for contemporary theologians, then what exactly should theytake as their subject matter? And how should their imaginations goabout the task of representing the claims of Christian hope? There isno circumscribed answer to the first question. Theologians, and allChristians for that matter, should be willing to speak about any and all...
Chapter 3: Time, Judgment, and Competitive Spirituality
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Speculation about the life of the blessed dead brought us to thetentative conclusion that all of the saints, extraordinary and ordinary,are busy in the afterlife at the ongoing work of forgiveness, and thatthis eschatological activity is a realized norm for Christian virtue inall the dimensions of the communion of the saints. As the previous...
Chapter 4: Imagining the Last Judgment
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...some degree, the duration of spiritual competition for heavenly rewardin the otherwise unequal hierarchy of discipleship shared by martyrs,ascetical saints, ascetics, and laypeople. In order to serve this purpose,though, purgatorial time was imagined to be an odd sort of time. Liketime in the natural world on this side of death, purgatorial time mea -...
Chapter 5: Forgiveness in the Communion of the Saints
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As much as the saints have served as paradigms of discipleship, asinspiring role models for Christic imitation, and as eschatological bea-cons for the Christian journey to the fullness of God’s kingdom, theirpowerful presence in the tradition also has created an effect that I havecalled the hierarchy of discipleship. Hierarchy, of course, is one of the...
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Figure 1. Christ in Majesty. Last Judgmentmosaic (13th–14th c.). Baptistery ofSan Giovanni, Florence. Photo © DeA Picture Library/Art Resource, NY.Figure 3. Details of the Damned, Last Judgment fresco, Giorgio Vasari andFederico Zuccari. Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence. Photo: NicoloFigure 4. Last Judgment mosaic (11th c.). Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta,...
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About the Author, Back Cover
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John E. Thiel is professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University and past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He is the author of several books, among which are Senses of Tradition: ...
Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 11 halftones
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth