Author: LIN Hong-Hsin, Professor, Theological College & Seminary
The end of every theological journey is the beginning of another theological journey. The theology of Jürgen Moltmann (1926- ) reflects the belief that in the end it is the beginning. His theology originated from a prisoner of war camp, a hopeless place where he was converted to Christianity. This has made his theology very different from other traditional German theologies, which were formed mainly in academic offices.
The author offers an introductory to Moltmann’s theology as a response to his recent lectures at Renmin University of China. We will briefly track the historical and social context of his theology, and explain why Moltmann has defined his theology by the term “post-Barthian.” On the one hand, he inhabits the era after Barth. On the other hand, he intends to stand on the shoulders of Barth to strengthen areas of weakness, such as trinitarian theology, and to fill gaps, such as eschatology.
Moltmann’s theology of hope (also an ethics of hope) has done a great job in interpreting the Christian faith from an eschatological perspective, which has led him to the theology of the cross and then to trinitairan theology. Such a theology has focused upon human history, and has led him to a hope formed by revelation from heaven. This paper argues that Moltmann does not try to defend himself against criticisms that his theology is one-sided, but rather he takes them as a starting point to develop a greater comprehensiveness. Above all, his theological journey is a journey of adventure, a journey that always comes with surprises.
Jürgen Moltmann, Karl Barth, History, Hope, Eschatology
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