Icons of Hope: The ""Last Things"" in Catholic Imagination (Paperback)John E. Thiel (author)
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Icons of Hope presents an interpretation of heavenly life, the Last Judgment, and the communion of the saints that is shaped by a view of the activity of the blessed dead consistent with Christian belief in the resurrection of the body, namely, the view that the blessed dead in heaven continue to be eschatologically engaged in the redemptive task of forgiveness. Thiel offers a revision of the traditional Catholic imaginary regarding judgment and life after death that highlights the virtuous actions of all the saints in their heavenly response to the vision of God. These constructive efforts are fostered by Thiel's conclusions on the disappearance of the concept of purgatory in large segments of contemporary Catholic belief, a disappearance attributable to the emergence of a noncompetitive spirituality in postconciliar Catholicism, which has eclipsed the kinds of religious sensibilities that made belief in purgatory a practice in earlier centuries. This noncompetitive spirituality-one that recovers traditional Pauline sensibilities on the gratuitousness of grace-encourages an eschatological imaginary of mutual, ongoing forgiveness in the communion of the saints in this life and in the life to come.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"[Thiel] suggests that the key lies in the theology of forgiveness and that forgiveness is directly related to sanctity, especially to that sanctity to which Vatican II says all are called. He has thus struck theological and spiritual gold: this history of salvation is the history of God's forgiveness of his people."--Cistercian Studies
"[Thiel's] theological writing has always combined poise and a sense of urgency, and this intricately argued treatise on eternal life is no exception. . . . Thiel's book . . . raises questions about the role of the imagination in theology, and especially in eschatology. His emphasis throughout is on 'imagining' the last things. But he ends up proposing ways to 'think' or 'speak' about these things as often as he proposes ways to imagine them. . . one can only be grateful to Thiel for a book that stirs us from our dogmatic slumbers about the world to come."--Commonweal
"The theological community owes Thiel a debt of gratitude for bringing eschatology back into our consciousness. His 'thick' description of the afterlife will surely provoke a lively discussion. I recommend it to graduate seminars in eschatology and contemporary Catholic theology."--catholicbooksreview.org
"Icons of Hope, John Thiel's creative effort to explore Christian belief in eternal life, is clearly the work of a major theological thinker. . . . While highly speculative, Thiel's vision is both imaginative and deeply Catholic. His fascinating analysis of Catholic and Protestant artistic representations of the Last Judgment--by artists like Federico Zuccari, Giotto di Bondone, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Lucas Cranach the Younger and Albrecht D rer--enriches his narrative."--americamagazine.org
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