Eschatology in South African literature from the struggle period (1960-1994)

05 Sep 2012

On the background of the current sense of despair concerning the environmental crisis, this article follows the basic intuition that a Christian environmental praxis can only be empowered on the basis of an adequate understanding of Christian hope. Christian eschatology has traditionally responded to three distinct aspects of the human predicament - human self-enclosure, and finitude in both time and space; instigated by an unacceptable present reality, it articulates the conviction of an upcoming transformation into what it ought to be. Investigating the theme of hope in some major ecclesial documents and literature that explicitly addresses the topic written during the struggle, it is argued that the strength of the eschatology developed during that period consists in its return to the prophetic roots of Christian hope. Its concentration on the anthropological aspect of the liberation from the predicament from human sin makes it necessary to rediscover the impact of eschatology on the salvation of creation and the theocentric aspect of hope.