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Title: The judgment of love : an investigation of salvific judgment in Christian eschatology
Author: Matarazzo, James M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6493 9228
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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My study offers a constructive exploration of divine judgment as salvific rather than destructive which I describe aphoristically as iudicandus est salvandus ('to be judged is to be saved'). My provocation to Christian eschatology is that human beings are not saved from judgment, but are saved within it. In chapter 1, I introduce the context of the study and propose the concept of salvific judgment. In chapter 2, I engage in an exploration of the symbols and problems of judgment through a reappraisal of De novissimis ('concerning the last things'), the last section found in traditional works of dogmatics. This is followed, in chapter 3, by a critical engagement with the soteriological optimism posited by four twentieth- and twenty-first century theologians: Sergei Bulgakov, Hans Urs von Balthasar, J.A.T. Robinson, and Marilyn McCord Adams. In chapter 4, I explore four versions of the purpose of judgment: (1) as retributive with a dual outcome, engaging the work of Paul O'Callaghan; (2) as retributive and universalist, in conversation with Sergei Bulgakov; (3) as non-retributive, rectifying, and universalist, exploring the oeuvre of Jürgen Moltmann; and (4) as non-retributive, constitutive of personhood, and quasi-universalist, investigating the eschatological thought of Markus Mühling. In chapter 5, I propose to approach divine judgment as the event of absolute recognition. I posit that it is within the eschatic recognition of God, the self, and the other that transformation and glorification occur in a way that avoids a dual outcome of salvation and damnation. I then explore the problems concerning eternal life ('heaven') in the received tradition and propose that life in the eschatic realm of God is not eternal stasis, but the semper novum. I also explore this understanding of eternal life as it relates to the communion of saints. I conclude by arguing that we may approach divine judgment with faith, hope, and love – not only for ourselves, but for the human race as a whole.
Supervisor: Jeanrond, Werner G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Salvific Judgment ; Universal Salvation ; Theology ; Eschatology ; Soteriology ; Judgment ; Death ; Salvation ; Purgatory ; Heaven ; Christian ; Universalism ; Hell