Trostlose Eschatologie? Zu einer unerledigten Kontroverse über Versöhnung in der neueren Dogmatik.

Wirth, Mathias (2016). Trostlose Eschatologie? Zu einer unerledigten Kontroverse über Versöhnung in der neueren Dogmatik. Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie, 58(3), pp. 259-284. de Gruyter 10.1515/nzsth-2016-0016

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As an eschatological consequence of the effective recognition of people’s freedom through God, Karl-Heinz Menke often described a scenario where salvation is contingent on the “victim” forgiving their “tormenter”, since God may not want to bring the “victim” eschatological peace without the “victim’s” free decision. Menke’s plea for an open history requires eschatological interactionism that demands the „victim’s“ forgiveness. This was met with strong criticism from Bernd Oberdorfer in a controversy in 2009, who reminded of the possibility of finding it impossible to forgive. Oberdorfer points out two highly debatable assertions of Menke: firstly, that the “victim” notoriously remains a part of the “offender’s“ reckoning, and secondly, that the kingdom of God can only be reached if the last „victim“ pardons the „offender“. Menke’s votes for the model of uncertainty of salvation in eschatology ties the biblical vision of God “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28) to the fragility of human capabilities. The model of certainty of salvation in eschatology, which also features prominently in Christian theology, considers the new Heaven and the new Earth not a mere eventuality, but rather an imminent actuality. Here, Easter morning functions not as a utopia but as a symbol of hope that in no way assumes forgiveness of the unforgivable. Even the resurrected Christ did not reach out to his felons after his crucifixion. As life triumphs over death comes the beginning of something completely new that the “offender” and “victim” may wish for.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology [discontinued] > Institute of Systematic Theology [discontinued] > Ethics [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Wirth, Mathias


200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology




de Gruyter




Mathias Wirth

Date Deposited:

12 Nov 2018 10:01

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 11:14

Publisher DOI:





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