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Terror and Eschatology

Catholic Theological Society of America
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  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Religious Science


C:\Documents and Settings\rowell_el\Desktop\CTSA61\ctsa6106.wpd Selected Sessions 121 TERROR AND ESCHATOLOGY Topic: Terror and the End of Time: The Search for a Responsible Eschatology Convener: Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ursuline College Presenter: Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ursuline College Presenter: John Shields, Calumet College of St. Joseph Moderator: Alison Benders, Ursuline College This two-paper presentation explored the eschatological thinking of theologians David Tracy and Rosemary Radford Ruether. At the heart of both theologians is a commitment to making Christian theological discourse relevant to and engaged with a pluralistic audience. To so engage a pluralistic audience is to attempt to make Christian thinking simultaneously public and accountable. This agenda requires of the Christian theologian an interpretation of doctrine that is both authentically Christian as well as contextually and socially accountable. No area of Christian teaching is more challenged by this task than that of eschatology. In light of the fact of interreligious violence, terror, and competing truth claims—particularly about the end-time, it is incumbent upon the Christian theological community to dialogue about strategies for thinking eschatologically in a way that is responsible and accountable. This session was convened toward the goal of advancing this dialogue. The first paper, presented by John Shields of Calumet College of St. Joseph, was entitled “An Eschatological Imagination: Constructing a Responsible Christian Eschatology in the Light of David Tracy’s Theological Project.” This paper attempted to suggest the fundamental features of a contemporary Christian eschatology for the postmodern world. In this process, Shields claimed that an intellectually responsible Christian eschatology can be best shaped in the form of a rhetoric of virtue wherein suspicions about certainty claims for the future can still find hope in possibilities. He named this rhetoric an “eschatological imagination” wh

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