TH7391, Theological Capstone Seminar: Eschatology

Overview of Eschatology and Course Topics

Introduction to Eschatology


Two major categories

  1. Collective/cosmic: the end of the world, what we expect or hope will happen to the world
  2. Individual/personal: the afterlife, what we expect or hope will happen after one’s last breath

Issues in eschatology

Introduction to course topics and options for topic experts

  1. Course introductions
  2. Eschatology overview
  3. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
  4. Ancient Greece and Rome
  5. Hebrew Bible
  6. Old Testament
  7. Dead Sea Scrolls
  8. 1 Enoch
  9. New Testament Epistles
  10. New Testament Gospels
  11. Apocalypse of John, part 1
  12. Apocalypse of John, part 2
  13. 4 Ezra
  14. Apocalypse of Peter
  15. Theology Day (no new material)
  16. Follow-up and mid-course synthesis
  17. Irenaeus
  18. Augustine
  19. Judaism
  20. Islam
  21. The Harrowing of Hell
  22. Hildegard or Reformation
  23. Folk eschatologies (one of day of the dead, Metz, ghosts, C.S. Lewis)
  24. Folk eschatologies (another from the preceeding)
  25. Balthasar
  26. Survey of other 20th century theologians
  27. American millennialism, Millerites, and cognitive dissonance
  28. Select topic from contemporary issues in eschatology (Christian Zionism? environmental ethics?)

Everyone should be the expert on one topic from the first half of the course and another from the second half of the course.

When there is only one student expert in an evening the student will take about half of the material, and Dr. Hanneken will treat the remaining material. In will typically makes sense for the student to take the first half of the evening, but can select from either half of the material for the evening. When there are two student experts in an evening (marked with an * asterisk), they should plan to divide the material and/or collaborate.

Suggested pairings to maximize time between expert sessions

  1. January 22 and March 19 (3|4, 17|18) ancient neighbor, and Irenaeus or Augustine
  2. January 29 and March 26 (5|6, 19|20) Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, and Judaism or Islam
  3. February 5 and April 2 (7|8, 21|22) Dead Sea Scrolls or 1 Enoch, and Hildegard or Reformation
  4. February 12 and April 9 (9|10, 23|24*) NT Epistles or Gospels, and folk eschatology
  5. February 19 and April 16 (11|12*, 25|26) collaborate on Apocalypse of John, and 20th century
  6. February 19 and April 23 (11|12*, 27|28) collaborate on Apocalypse of John, and contemporary topic
  7. February 26 and April 9 (13|14, 23|24*) 4 Ezra or Apocalypse of Peter, and folk eschatology