Chris Wiley

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)



Second Advisor

Larry Shelton

Third Advisor

Daniel L. Brunner


The following thesis will examine and critique Moltmann's personal and cosmic eschatology as compared and contrasted with the views of Joseph Ratzinger and Millard Erickson. These two theologians are chosen to represent critics from two schools of thought in response to Moltmann's theology of hope, namely those critical of his theological method and those critical of his political theology. This examination focuses on the viability of Moltmann's personal and cosmic eschatology in contemporary Evangelical and Catholic theology. This study begins with a review of Moltmann's methodology and general treatment of themes in his theology as they pertain to eschatology. This is followed with a review of Erickson and Ratzinger, their contributions to eschatology, and criticisms of Moltmann's treatment of eschatology in general. The next section focuses on Moltmann's chapter on individual death and resurrection in COG. This examination will then be reviewed alongside Ratzinger's personal eschatology. This process is then repeated in light of Erickson's treatment of personal eschatology, The third section focuses on cosmic eschatology by examining Moltmann' s fourth chapter in COG. This section on cosmic eschatology draws primarily from the doctrine on the "new heaven and the new earth," which is typically treated in systematic theology under the heading of historical eschatology. An account of both Ratzinger and Erickson's work on this doctrine is then given to assess viability. Concluding thoughts are then given on the overall viability of Moltmann' s eschatology in contemporary Evangelical and Catholic theology and suggestions are offered for further consideration and study.