Saturday, 22 December 2007

Pannenberg's eschatological ontology

The new issue of the Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie includes my article on Pannenberg, entitled: “The Difference Totality Makes: Reconsidering Pannenberg’s Eschatological Ontology” NZSTh 49:2 (2007), 141-55. (If you’d like a copy, just email me.)

In the essay, I try to bring Pannenberg’s eschatological thought into conversation with the work of David Bentley Hart and Robert W. Jenson. Here’s the abstract:

“Wolfhart Pannenberg’s eschatological ontology has been criticised for undermining the goodness and reality of finite creaturely differentiation. Drawing on David Bentley Hart’s recent ontological proposal, this article explores the critique of Pannenberg’s ontology, and offers a defence of Pannenberg’s depiction of the relation between difference and totality, especially as it is presented in his 1988 work, Metaphysics and the Idea of God. In this work, Pannenberg articulates a structured relation between difference and totality in which individual finite particularities are preserved and affirmed within a coherent semantic whole. Creaturely differences are not sublated or eliminated in the eschatological totality, but are integrated into a harmonious totality of meaning. This view of the semantic function of totality can be further clarified by connecting Pannenberg’s ontological vision with Robert W. Jenson’s model of the eschatological consummation as a narrative conclusion to the drama of finite reality.”

The same issue of NZSTh also includes Paul Molnar’s critical response to Bruce McCormack: “Can the Electing God Be God without Us? Some Implications of Bruce McCormack’s Understanding of Barth’s Doctrine of Election for the Doctrine of the Trinity” (pp. 199-222).

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