Apocalypse After All? Planetary Crisis, Christian Hope
According to Professor Keller, at the turn of the millennium, the apocalypse narrative was culturally monopolized by a powerful religio-political right pumped by hope for an imminent End. In this millennium, Christian endism has been succeeded on the stage of public apocalypse by climate ecology. It hopes to avoid the end—of the human oikos, our dwelling upon the earth. As the forecasts become steadily more dire, Keller maintains that theology must address a rapidly advancing version of secular apocalypse. Is it a manifestation of a western apocalypse habit in the guise of scientific fact? Or does the apocalyptic legacy—for all of its extremist and violent, religious and secular, deployments—need to be reconsidered? This project heeds the ancient warning as to the catastrophic effects upon the human and nonhuman earth of a lascivious empire of greed. Theology in the prophetic tradition no longer pits one social justice issue against another but heeds "the cry of the poor, the cry of the earth," the mattering of Black lives, the crises of migration and Islamophobia, as now rapidly intensifying witnesses to a failing civilization. If hope—not optimism—is for the future of the oikos, it hopes against both capitalist and spiritual escapisms. It faces the apocalyptic threat of the earth's rising fever as challenge to and of Christian hope. The Bible names no "end of the world." Rather, Keller believes, apocalypse as dis/closure opens the chance that catastrophe can become catalyst. For an eschatology of the earth, hope, beyond certainties, alarms, and evasions, faces the impossible: in faith it participates in the basileia tou theou; in love it practices the new people, new city, new heavens and earth that become yet possible.