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Om gästfrihet och teologisk integritet i kristen eskatologi

  • Jakob Wirén


This article is written in the intersection of eschatology and theology of religions. It argues that apart from the well-known discussion of "Who will be saved?", there is a related question that is often overlooked. The Jewish theologian Jacob Neusner articulates this question in the following way: How can I form a theory of the other in such a way that within my own belief I can respect the other and accord to the outsider legitimacy within the structure of my own faith? Applied to the area of Christian eschatology, I argue that the kind of 'theological integrity' that Neusner refers to is rarely articulated in Christian eschatology. Based on that argument, the article explores ways to reassess otherness in Christian eschatology. It applies a method from comparative theology in order to see what resources there are in Jewish and Muslim traditions to respect and recognize theological integrity in eschatology. Several tools are identified in contemporary Jewish and Muslim eschatologies: the notion of election, a Messianic approach to the eschaton, a hermeneutically privileged position, an ethical emphasis, and a narrative vision of the Heavenly Garden. These tools can contribute to further the theological reflection in Christian eschatology in different ways. In the last part of the article, I sketch how this could be achieved by using the image of the heavenly banquet. In this way, I also seek to provide a new and vital slant to the threefold paradigm of exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism that has been prevalent in the theology of religions.