Political Authority A Christian Perspective Michael von Brück University of Munich, Germany general reflection: apocalyptic and utopian models of progress and religion European tradition of thought is shaped by two different mythical imaginations of time structure: apocalyptic thought and the concept of utopia. Jewish apocalyptical thinking culminated in the expectation that God would finally complete the processes of history at the end of time. In conjunction with Iranian dualism this expectation was interpreted metaphysically: After the collapse of the existing order God would create a messianic kingdom of peace and justice, that is, a kingdom under the direct rule of God. This was not "political progress" in the modern sense of the term, for the subject of these final events was God himself or God alone. Human beings might participate in accelerating or slowing down these divine actions by lawful or unlawful behavior--measured according to the Mosaic Law, but human historical acting itself would not lead to a betterment in this sense. Nevertheless, this form of thought gave history a direction, and this is what inspired later Jewish and Christian intentionality. Early Christianity was shaped by the expectation of the coming end of time in the immediate future;
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 30, 2010
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