Moltmann was born in 1926. Identifies himself as an Evangelical. Moltmann’s first book Theology of Hope(1964) was also greatly influenced by Ernst Bloch’s The Principle of Hope.
Also, Moltmann identifies the sources of his theology of hope and of God’s presence in suffering with his experiences of WWII. Moltmann studied at Göttingen, continued to do a doctoral dissertation and his second dissertation which qualifies him to become a lecturer in Germany. In 1967-1994 he became professor of systematic theology at Tübingen. He is still alive and has continued writing since his retirement. Theology of Hope
In his “Theology of Hope”, Moltmann explain revelation as promise and history as mission. He interprets revelation as the “apocalypse of promised future”. He contrasts Greek and Hebrew thought. Whereas Greek thought has led to a notion of God who is unchangeable and incorruptible, the God that Moltmann finds in the Old Testament is a God who accompanies his people and makes promises to them.
Israel’s faithfulness to their covenant with God is rewarded by His faithfulness to His promise to them. The prophetic and apocalyptic traditions continue to put faith in God’s promises, but these promises also become universalised to encompass the whole human race. This means that eschatology is the horizon of all Christian theology.
This gives us a background in relation to which we can understand Jesus and the apocalyptic character of his preaching and the eschatological hope of the early Christian community. What matters are his death and resurrection, because they show us that God keeps his promises – he will overcome death for us, just like he did for Jesus – it’s a possibility that can and will happened. Sent a copy to Karl Barth. However, Barth writes that he is disappointed.
1. No developed ethics that it is ‘determined and bordered by the eschaton.’ 2. No ‘concrete eschatology’ – in doesn’t explain eternal life, the resurrection of the dead etc. Theology of Resurrection and Eschatology
Resurrection is not a mythical idea or a mere metaphor, as we find in Bultmann. Moltmann believes that Jesus literally rose from the dead. Human Jesus and Divine Jesus are the same. The cross and the resurrection respectively represent death and life, the absence of God and the nearness of God, God forsakenness and the glory of God. His is ‘a dialectical Christology’.
The crucified Jesus is identified with ‘godlessness’, ‘god forsakenness’ and ‘transitoriness’. In his resurrection Jesus is identified with the promised new life that the whole of creation is waiting for. Moltmann offers us a dialectical eschatological Christology –he sees the resurrection of Jesus as the guarantee that God will keep his promises in the eschaton. Criticism
Moltmann does not offer a solution to the problem of evil. This will only happen at the end of time. Many theologians say that suffering contradicts the possibility of a loving God. Moltmann points to the future hope in Christ – in which all suffering will be overcome. Christians are caught up in a contradiction. They have a future hope. They also share in suffering. Also his idea of universal eschatology is quite disturbing.