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Keywords:

  • Walzer;
  • eschatology;
  • messianism;
  • political theory;
  • social criticism

ABSTRACT

This essay examines the relevance of eschatological themes to the political theory of Michael Walzer. A distinctive eschatological hope is identified, which functions as a guide to thought throughout Walzer's writings, even though he seldom expresses it (and sometimes denies it). This analysis of Walzer's work demonstrates that eschatology is relevant to the contemporary discussion of justice, and conversely, that contemporary political theory can be a guide for the construction and evaluation of theological doctrines of eschatology. Any eschatology that enters into political debate in a modern, pluralistic society like the United States, however, must have at least one important characteristic: it must be informed by a profound sense of limitation.