The Annihilation of Hell
Universal Salvation and the Redemption of Time in the Eschatology of Jürgen Moltmann
by Nik Ansell
Foreword by Jürgen Moltmann
Imprint: Cascade Books
484 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.97 in
- Published: October 2013
$57.00 / £50.00Buy
For Jurgen Moltmann, Hell is the nemesis of Hope. The "annihilation of Hell" thus refers both to Hell's annihilative power in history and to the overcoming of that power as envisioned by Moltmann's distinctive theology of the cross in which God becomes "all in all" through Christ's descent into Godforsakenness. The negation of Hell and the fulfillment of history are inseparable. Attentive to the overall contours and dynamics of Moltmann's thinking--especially his zimzum doctrine of creation, his eschatologically oriented philosophy of time, and his expanded understanding of the nature-grace relationship--this study asks whether the universal salvation that he proposes can honor human freedom, promise vindication for those who suffer, and do justice to biblical revelation. As well as providing an in-depth exposition of Moltmann's ideas, The Annihilation of Hell also explores how a "covenantal universalism" might revitalize our web of beliefs in a way that is attuned to the authorizing of Scripture and the spirituality of existence. If divine and human freedom are to be reconciled, as Moltmann believes, the confrontation between Hell and Hope will entail rethinking issues that are not only at the center of theology but at the heart of life itself.
Nicholas Ansell is Assistant Professor of Theology, Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto
"Far-reaching and profound."
Jurgen Moltmann, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, University of Tubingen
"This is the book for any student of theology eager for an in-depth exposition of the general contours and underlying structure of Moltmann's theology. With philosophical originality and scriptural sensitivity, Ansell lays bare the structure of Moltmann's highly complex thought as a 'coincidence of opposites' in which the historical and eschatological directions of time are in simultaneous opposition even as they are in underlying harmony. Ansell deftly demonstrates how this configuration enables Moltmann coherently to relate the human and divine, nature and grace, time and eternity, creation and God, freedom and universal salvation. A stunning achievement!"
James H. Olthuis, Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology, Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto
"Few subjects impinge more directly on the heart of Christian faith in the God and Father of Jesus Christ than those bound up with issues of eschatological destiny. What we believe about the future of the world and our fellow humans in God's hands cannot but be closely entwined with our fundamental convictions about God's character. Recent years have seen a resurgence of serious theological work in this area, and a wide range of theological proposals. Here, Nik Ansell provides a penetrating and authoritative study of Jurgen Moltmann's contribution to the conversation, and suggests how this might be appropriated and built upon to develop an eschatology that is scripturally earthed, intellectually compelling, and theologically responsible."
Trevor Hart, Professor of Divinity, University of St Andrews