Christian Eschatology and Social Thought: A Historical Essay on the Social Implications of Some Selected Aspects in Christian Eschatology to A.D. 1500

By Ray C. Petry | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI
Christian Eschatology and Social Thought: Retrospect and Prospect

ONE CONVICTION OF THE MIDDLE AGES WAS MORE STUBBORNLY AND resourcefully related to everyday existence than any other. This was the Church's belief in a transcendent order that would provide ultimate judgment upon, and eventual replacement of, all temporal life. Every teaching of Christ and all emphases of Christian doctrine that the Church had since evolved were given definition and substance in relation to eschatological verities.

The modifications of eschatological thought by the Christian ages were traceable less to a changed content of belief than to the fluctuating pressures of a working commitment. Thus, the teaching and lay preaching of Francis of Assisi, for example, were not categorically different from the deliverances of theologians. His exhortations were, however, more specifically motivating and more alertly energizing for the masses than were many official pronouncements. Virtually all the incentives to Christian living in the Middle Ages were issued against the background of the eternal kingdom as already present in substance and against its foreground as an imminently impending absolute. The most persistent subliminal pressures in literature and iconography were those of approaching judgment. It is true that medieval men and women were by no means so obsessed with the thought of world's end as we sometimes picture them as being. It is even more true, however, than we can imagine today, that the anticipation of an ultimate severance between present and future worlds was an everyday postulate for every man.

This was only partly a matter of negatively dreading hell. It was chiefly a positive fear of not attaining heaven. Here, then, was the most poignant side of the longing to enter the beatitude. Such a concern was not solely, or even chiefly, the preoccupation of priests and popes. It was the raison d'être for the most ignorant peasant and the most devoted renunciant, alike. The simplest and the pro-

-370-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Christian Eschatology and Social Thought: A Historical Essay on the Social Implications of Some Selected Aspects in Christian Eschatology to A.D. 1500
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 415

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.