Jürgen Moltmann’s ecological God

Jürgen Moltmann’s ecological God.

In Theology of Hope, Jürgen Moltmann’s most well-known work, he argues that the man who hopes will hope to transcend this earth, including death.

All this must inevitably mean that the man who thus hopes will never be able to reconcile himself with the laws and constraints of this earth, neither with the inevitability of death.  (Hope, loc 272)

As I argued in my previous post on Moltmann, this means that the eschaton (end of this world and beginning of the next) will be realized on this earth, on which immortal beings will dwell.  I find this seriously weird. 

More than weird, it denies what it is to be human, which is to be finite and mortal.  Heaven there may be, but it will not be here (as if heaven were in time and space), and it will not be populated by immortal earthlings.  More than this I do not know, and even about this I am far from certain. 

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Jürgen Moltmann: heaven on earth and my heresy

Jürgen Moltmann: heaven on earth and my heresy

Jürgen Moltmann is 92 years old.  He is of the same generation as the well-known theologians I have posted about recently, such as Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr.  Like them, he was born in Germany and came of age in Nazified Germany.  Unlike them he stayed, served in the Wehrmacht (Nazi army, not the SS), and seems to have experienced profound guilt and remorse when he learned about the concentration camps after the war.  That’s his story, and I have no reason to doubt it.

In some ways he is the most interesting of the five German theologians I have posted about (Barth, Niebuhr, Bultmann, Bonhoeffer, and Tillich).  I wish I understood why the most influential Christian theologians in the United States grew up in Nazified Germany, but I don’t.*  Moltmann is interesting not because he is right, but because he is different. Moltmann is different not only because he believes in heaven, but in heaven on earth. 

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