English Summary – Eschatology 1/2014

Jan Sokol
Dual Polarityof Christian Eschatology
The introductory essay by Professor Jan Sokol notes tension between the eschatology of death and hope as well as tension between the personal and the cosmic vision of “the ultimate”. The author focuses just on the issue of hope as a precondition for any speculation, and trails its manifestations in European history. Modern hope according to him is characterized by three features. The vanishing point of the last things is retreating; it turns interest of human being towards himself or herself and towards things he or she can be occupied with, and he or she seemingly takes control of hope. All of this bears substantial implications for existential perception of modern human being.

Ctirad V. Pospíšil
Eschatology as the Joy of Being, and “the Soul” of the Whole Theology
The author in this study tries to consider and refer to eschatology as essentially sapiential and contemplative dimension, or rather a “soul” of the whole theological reflection. In the forefront emerges an attempt to grasp the mystery of fulfilment in the light of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The purpose of this theological effort lies in the theological clarifying of the breathtaking and life-giving harmony of particular matters of faith, whose gripping brings us not only to understanding, but to the first stages of anticipating experience of fullness, now already present in a sacramental way. All this may turn into the joy of faith, salvation, and in the finally consequence, in life-giving and simple joy of the gift of being. In the last part of his study the author discusses the attitude we ought to take towards the real history in the light of this joy of being – in other words, he discusses the issue of paradox contemplativus in actione, and of the eschatological incarnationism.

Jean-Pierre Torrell OP
Personal Resurrectionandthe Future of Humanity
The study focuses on the collective dimension of the resurrection, which applies to the whole of humanity and the world in its entirety. The author mentions not only Aristotle’s definition of man as a social animal, but also the promises of Christ concerning all mankind. Even Thomas Aquinas wants to avoid an individualistic concept of resurrection. According to him, eternal life is not conceivable otherwise than within the communion of saints, the life of glorified bodies, despite the troubles of contemporary theologians to deliver an opinion on this topic. This also applies to the promised arrival of the new creation, confirmed even by the Second Vatican Council (Lumen gentium, 48). In conclusion the author deals with the question of the destiny of evil persons and with the idea of their eternal damnation.

Jaroslav Brož
Eschatological Hope as Being “with Christ” According to the Apostle Paul
The study focuses on the issue of Christian eschatology, where there is often felt an irreconcilable tension between general parusia at the end of the times and entering to the communion with Christ at the moment of a person’s death. Both the positions find support in Paul’s letters. For the first vision states 1 Thess 4:13-18 and 1 Cor 15; for the second the fundamental text is Phil 1:23. Based on the chronology of Paul’s epistles, with regard to the particular circumstances of each letter and the Apostle’s rhetorical strategy, the author of the article favours the view of those exegetes who don’t see a sharp contradiction between the two positions but assume that both eschatological horizons in Paul’s teachings could co-exist together since the beginning of his apostolic activity.

David Vopřada
Three Texts of Ambrose on Purifying Fire at the Gates of Paradise
The patrist David Vopřada admittedly states that the idea of purgatory in theology didn’t fully formed until the 12th century, however, the principle of purification was present in the Church from the beginning. Ambrose of Milan († 397) doesn’t understand this purification neither as a state nor place, and he certainly doesn’t ascribe to it any definition referring to the time. With this term he describes an activity of Christ towards the believer, his purifying fire relieves from a stain of sin, to enable the believer to enter Paradise perfect and pure. This Ambrose’s doctrine can be considered, given the early date, the one of very advanced, and rich. The study presents three Ambrose’s texts mentioning purification “at the gates of Paradise”: Explanatio psalmi 1,38; Explanatio psalmi 36,26; Expositio psalmi CXVIII III 10 to 17.

Robert Ombres OP
The Doctrine ofPurgatoryby St. Thomas Aquinas
The study analyzes the doctrine of purgatory of St. Thomas as a representative example of medieval thinking on the subject, and shows the advantages of his way of thinking. He is primarily human, ecclesiastical and conscious of the limits of theology. It is shown that the belief in purgatory is not an idle speculation about the next life or an empty fiction. It becomes a question of an accomplishment of salvation through all of the members of Christ, who all – alive or dead – are related to his salvific life, death, and resurrection to the glory. The terminology of debt, reparation, and compensation for him acquires a definitive – both human and theological – depth, and some of the best efforts of medieval culture are sanctified through it.

Ludvík Grundman OP
The Unity of the Human Person – an Essential Point in the Doctrine of the Resurrection
The theory of “the resurrection in death” induced a strong response and won not only numerous opponents, but also many followers. The article deals with the assets of such theories for reappraisal of certain weak points of thomistic conception. At the same time the surprising closeness of both of the streams is referred to. Both of them share a fundamental basis, namely the profound unity of the human being; but they also have to face a similar problem: an excessive rationalization of the mystery of the resurrection, which remains to be a supernatural gift of God’s grace.

Edward T. Oakes SJ
Catholic Eschatology and the Development of the Church Doctrine
The American Jesuit shows that even on the field of eschatology there is a conceptual development of various issues. The author focuses on the theology of limbo during the process of its forming in the argument between Augustine and Pelagius, on the nature of controversies connected with the issue in the Middle Ages and mainly in the early modern period, and how the idea of the limbo was finally abandoned by post-conciliar theologians. The second part concerns the doctrine of Christ’s descent into the hell and the discussions which have emerged around this topic in the connection with the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Jesus on the Top of the Minaret
Interview with Bronislaw Ostřanský on Islamic Eschatology
The interview with the orientalist Bronislaw Ostřanský outlines the basic questions of Islamic eschatology. The ambivalence of respect for the deceased is discussed, as well as the concepts of the last judgment; there are analyzed milenaristic impulses in the history of Islam and their manifestations at the present time.

Marc Chauveau OP
Series of Exhibitionsof Contemporary Art in the Priory Sainte Marie de La Tourette
The commentary to the images accompanying this issue of Salve presents a project of series of exhibitions of contemporary art in the Dominican Priory Sainte Marie de La Tourette (France), and dialogue between architectural heritage and contemporary art (see more on http://www.couventdelatourette.fr).