In Christian theology, doctrines of the "last things". Eschatology is a relatively young field in systematic theology, having only been recognized as such since the 18th century.

Eschatology is divided roughly into two categories: personal and cosmic.

Personal Eschatology pertains to the last things wrt a particular individual, and speaks to matters such as:

Cosmic Eschatology asks the questions that make for New York Times Bestsellers.

Ultimately, an eschatology is fundamentally important to the application of the rest of a theological system to the real world. It tells you whether things are getting better or the world is going to hell in a handbasket, what part the church is expected to play (or not play) in this, and even what the encounter of day-to-day Christian life should be like.

For example, if one accepts dispensational premillennialism, then one naturally expects widespread apostacy in the church, rejection of the gospel, and general ineffectiveness of Christ-centered ministry. If one accepts Gordon Fee's interpretation of the role of the Holy Spirit as the (at least partial) realization of the eschatological Kingdom, then one expects the supernatural to be commonplace in the church.

Apple's A/UX (an early Unix for the Macintosh 6800) had a special purpose partition for system recovery. The partition was called "eschatology".

Es`cha*tol"o*gy (?), n. [Gr. the furthest, last + -logy.]

The doctrine of the last or final things, as death, judgment, and the events therewith connected.


© Webster 1913.

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