ON HUMAN FINITUDE AND ETERNAL LIFE
AbstractThere is an emerging consensus in contemporary theology that human finitude should be affirmed and that attempts to overcome the limitations of mortality, transience and finite human knowledge and power should be resisted. Nevertheless, the Christian tradition has maintained its hope for eternal life in the presence of God. The question which this essay therefore addresses is which aspects of human finitude (if any) will be overcome if the hope for eternal life is affirmed. Section two provides a brief overview of theological debates on human finitude. Section three then offers a brief introduction to theological discourse on time and eternity. In section four the contributions to theological reflection on eternity from German theologians such as Karl Barth, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jürgen Moltmann and Eberhard Jüngel are discussed. This discussion on eschatological assessment of human finitude remains inconclusive though. The question that requires further attention is: In what ways will human finitude be affirmed and in what ways (if any) will human finitude be transcended in and through eternal life.
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