Journal for Christian Theological Research


Barth's work on eschatology certainly deserves more critical prominence than it has frequently been given. He encourages theologians to think much more carefully about what it is to hope as a Christian, or, better, as one whose determination and responsibility are ecclesially learned and performed in witness to God’s coming in Jesus Christ. The challenge that his material puts to much that passes for Christian talk of hope is pronounced and radical. In particular, he challenges the very kind objectivity of hope that makes what Christians hope for just another object; and in so doing, although I will focus less on this here, Barth casts serious suspicion on the subjectivity of hope that is therein necessitated (stable subjects of hope who can hope for different types of things). For Barth we have been given time to hope, and consequently this hope is only appropriately Christian hope insofar as it is engaged in its task of de-demonising the world and de-centering the subjectivity of much that passes for hope-full living today.