The doctrine of creation is obviously one of the first things, but it is also one of the last things since the world to come is also, by definition, creation. The simple truth that it is so is incontestable since neither the world to come nor those whose dwelling it is built to be are God. But the way in which this is so is the subject of a long, long debate in Christendom, with the question of whether and in what degree the life to come is continuous with this one. How common is the “thing” in “first thing” and “last thing”?
Our answer to this question conditions our answer to many others: the relationship of philosophy to theology, of the church to the saeculum, of the kingdom of Christ to the visible church. This volume brings together the careful investigations of established and emerging historians and theologians, exploring how these questions have been addressed at different points in Christian history, and what they mean for us today.