The Way of Jesus Christ: Christology in Messianic Dimensions

By Jürgen Moltmann | Go to book overview

VI
The Cosmic Christ

§1 ‘THE GREATER CHRIST’

1. The Recent Ecumenical Discussion

The interpretation of Christ’s death and resurrection took us beyond the bounds of christology in the framework of history and led us to christology in the framework of nature. Unless nature is healed and saved, human beings cannot ultimately be healed and saved either, for human beings are natural beings. Concern about the things of Christ therefore requires us to go beyond the christology developed in modern times, which was christology in the framework of history, and compels us to develop a christology of nature. Like the patristic church’s doctrine of the two natures, the cosmic christology of the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians was dismissed by modern Western European theology as mythology and speculation. Anthropological christology fitted the modern paradigm ‘history’, and itself unintentionally became one factor in the modern destruction of nature; for the modern reduction of salvation to the salvation of the soul, or to authentic human existence, unconsciously abandoned nature to its disastrous exploitation by human beings. Only a growing awareness of the deadly ecological catastrophes in the world of nature leads to a recognition of the limitations of the modern paradigm ‘history’ and makes us enquire again into the wisdom of ancient cosmic christology and its physical doctrine of redemption.1

In the ancient world, cosmic christology confronted Christ the redeemer with a world of powers, spirits and gods. The proclamation of ‘universal reconciliation’ liberated believers from their fear of

-274-

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The Way of Jesus Christ: Christology in Messianic Dimensions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • I - The Messianic Perspective 1
  • II - Trends and Transmutations in Christology 38
  • III - The Messianic Mission of Christ 73
  • IV - The Apocalyptic Sufferings of Christ 151
  • V - The Eschatological Resurrection of Christ 213
  • VI - The Cosmic Christ 274
  • VII - The Parousia of Christ 313
  • Notes 342
  • Index of Names 383
  • Index of Confessions, Creeds and Other Documents 388
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