2000 – Jürgen Moltmann

The eve of a new millennium brings with it concerns about “the end times,” judgment, death and the afterlife. German theologian Jürgen Moltmann, however, looks toward the last days with optimism rather than dread.

That message of hope, delivered through his book “The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology,” has earned Moltmann the 2000 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. The $200,000 prize presented by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville recognizes outstanding and creative works that promote understanding of the relationship between human beings and the divine.

Published in 1996 by Fortress Press and translated from German by Margaret Kohl, the book tackles the question of Christian eschatology, arguing that customary ideas of last days are contradictory and dysfunctional, even dangerous. Moltmann provides a renewed eschatology that is anchored in hope, informed by Jewish and messianic thought and oriented toward the coming reign of God.

Considered one of the world’s most exciting and renowned theologians since his 1967 debut of “Theology of Hope,” Moltmann has been considered a “pastor’s theologian” with an ability to make the complex simple. This book, fifth in a series of Moltmann¹s systematic contributions to theology, brings to communities of faith a new understanding of a classical theological theme at a time when the tough questions about events of the past one thousand years are being asked.

Moltmann is professor emeritus of systematic theology at the University of Tübingen in Germany where he taught since 1967.