War and Eschatology

Nicolai Berdyaev‘s War and Eschatology is, like all his works that I’ve read, thought-provoking. He echos many truths and then adds some perspective I’ve missed. For instance:

The end of the world and history is a Divine-human deed and it presupposes the activity and creativity of man. The end is not something merely awaited, but the rather prepared for. It is impossible to consider the end merely as an immanent chastisement and desolation. The end is likewise a task for man, the task of the transfiguration of the world. “For lo all is made new” refers also to man. The end of the world is a new heaven and a new earth. But the path to this transformation is not a worldly, gradual evolution, this path lies through tragic catastrophes, through desolations. In order to accomplish the transfiguration of the world, i.e. in order that God’s design should succeed, man ought to progress, ought to make creative acts, ought to respond to the call of God.

Quite false is the distinction between the morality of personal acts and the morality of social acts, and it had fatal consequences within the history of Christianity. Every personal act is as such also a social act, it possesses a social effect to a certain degree and extent. Every social act is as such also a personal act, since beyond it stands a man. Man is an integrally whole being and he discloses himself in the acts of his life.

The Kingdom of God cometh imperceptibly, without theatrical effects. It approaches in every triumph of humanness, in real liberation. In genuine creativity there comes nigh the end of this world, a world of inhumanity, of slavery, of inertia.

Berdaev is my segue into Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Shelley Power’s Uncompromising Individualism.

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