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).


Anonymous said...

Yummy! Thanks, Ben, for the nice Christmas present.

The Molnar article looks good too. I've just finished Incarnation and Resurrection where he beats up Macquarrie and Knitter, Kaufman and McFague, and Haight and Hick. Pannenberg, however, is in a different weight class, and it shows - Molnar labours. And where, I wondered, are Jüngel, Jenson - and McCormack? Along with Hart, Milbank, and Hunsinger, I'd like to get them all in the ring on the divine impassibility - and the logos asarkos. Las Vegas maybe?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I meant to say, nice tie on Pannenberg, so much more appealing than the samey, noose-like strips of cloth most academics seem to wear.

Michael F. Bird said...

Is there a German theology journal that you haven't published in this month? Oh, yes there is,the one named in your honour: Zeitschrift fur Ben Myer Forschung.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry if you already went through this the last time the logos asarkos question came up, but how would you answer Molnar's critique of McCormack's supralarsarianism? If Jesus was eternally the logos enfleshed, then does that negate the idea of God's creative act as being free? If this has already been covered, then let me know. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

OK, chaps, being a bear of little brain, where do I read a quick summary of Pannenburg's Eschatological Ontology, so as to give me a flavour of what we're reconsidering? (Yes, I am e-mailing Ben for the article.)

Many thanks, yours in Christ - JOHN HARTLEY.

Ben Myers said...

Hi John. The best introduction to his eschatological ontology is probably the early essay:

Wolfhart Pannenberg, “Theology and the Kingdom of God,” in Theology and the Kingdom of God, ed. Richard John Neuhaus (Philadelphia 1969), pp. 51-71.

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