We live toward what we assume to be our ends. Some of us hold such assumptions consciously, others do not, but either way the ends we seek shape the lives we live and the societies we build. The Christian eschatological imagination is concerned with the end of all things in the consummate glory of God, in our union with God. The way there is through judgment. And what is judged is, oftentimes, the other ends we have desired and built our worlds around. But to glimpse––just glimpse––the beauty and fullness of the final end God gives even now is a light for hope, while at the same time the bestowal of a mission to return to––rather than flee from––the concrete and historical lives we live now, in this world, such as it is. That is the tension of Christian eschatology, which literature often times powerfully, stunningly, even hauntingly presents to us in images and experiences.
On our episode today we plunge into such considerations with Judith Wolfe, who recently delivered the annual Religion and Literature Lecture at the University of Notre Dame, on the topic of “The Eschatological Imagination in Literature.” Dr. Wolfe is professor of philosophical theology in the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrew’s. Additionally and among other positions and activities, she serves as general editor of the Journal of Inkling Studies, she has developed or is currently working on a number of large projects such as the Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology project with funding from the Templeton Religion Trust, and she is the author or editor of a number of books (not to mention her articles), including the Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century Christian Thought, Heidegger and Theology, Heidegger and Eschatology, and C.S. Lewis and His Circle. She joins me today, in person, during her visit to Notre Dame.
Follow Up Resources:
● Find out more about Professor Judith Wolfe on her University of St. Andrew’s faculty page
● “At the Threshold: Begin with the End” – a video with Judith Wolfe speaking about eschatology
● Books by Judith Wolfe
This episode is supported by Providence College Humanities Program, https://humanities.providence.edu/veritas/
Church Life Today is a partnership between the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and OSV Podcasts from Our Sunday Visitor. Discover more ways to live, learn, and love your Catholic faith at osvpodcasts.com. Sharing stories, starting conversations.