Eschatology, as the author notes, has been closed for repairs for quite some time past. This book opens up the doors, with new insights and images of what may be ahead for us.
The argument throughout is that Gods loving relationship with us, revealed in Jesus Christ, cannot be broken. Well-worn topics such as general judgement, hell, heaven and purgatory are treated in a fresh and intelligibly satisfying way, while concise and illuminating treatment is given to human solidarity in Christ, universal salvation, the divinisation of humankind and the future of the material world.
Of course, this brief overview opens up more questions than it answers, but it offers a fresh departure in exploring a dimension of reality too long neglected.
||Brian Grogan SJ is former President of Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin. He specialises in Ignatian spirituality and his books for Veritas include Alone and on Foot: Ignatius of Loyola (2009) and Where to From Here: The Christian Vision of Life After Death (2011).
During a visit to a day centre for the elderly recently, an animated discussion broke out about life after death. While all those present were baptised Catholics several asked a very common question: ‘If there is a life after death why has no one come back to tell us?’ In his latest publication Where To From Here?
Brian Grogan SJ addresses this neglected yet vital question for human beings. We know of its importance within our own faith community because of the deep links Irish people maintain with deceased loved ones through anniversary Masses, Cemetery Sundays and November remembrances as well as the new phenomenon of Facebook pages dedicated in particular to deceased young people by their friends who often continue to communicate with them through this medium as though they were still alive. Divided into five parts each short chapter concludes with a summary of its contents and a question to ponder or discuss.
Christian theology, as you might expect, is the inescapable bedrock for the discussion but it is presented in an accessible and imaginative way to the general reader. The author singles out C.S. Lewis, the creator of the Chronicles of Narnia, as a particularly helpful resource in that regard as a guide to the true meaning of eschatology which in summary is all about participation in the divine and the enjoyment of an intimate relationship with the Creator which cannot be destroyed even by death.
Questions about heaven and hell, purgatory and limbo and other related topics are all addressed through scripture, church teaching and other inspired sources. While the question remains of no one returning to tell us Where To From Here? allows us continue to hope with good reason that when our time comes life will indeed be changed and not ended.
- Fr Paul Clayton-LeaClogherhead, Co Louth