The Eschatological Estuary

Here is a different image for the eschaton’s irruption into history. River estuaries are places where a freshwater river meets a saltwater sea, and it results in a certain turbulence. Sea water noses into the estuary beneath the outflowing river water, pushing its way upstream along the bottom. This continual bottom flow provides a ventilation system, drawing in new oceanic water and expelling brackish water, without which the waters would become stagnant, pollution would accumulate, and oxygen would be depleted. But when this flushing process is present, an incredible ecological productivity is created by the oxygen being continually resupplied from the ocean, leading to some of the highest growths of microscopic plants in any marine environment, which in turn serve as a base for a variety of food webs. I propose that Christians live in an eschatological estuary. Actually, all human beings live under this ecology, not only Christians, because all humanity is being carried along the river of history toward the Divine Sea, but I single out the Church now because Christians are the people who are aware of what causing the turbulence. Not only aware of it, they are enlisted as its agents. The sacramental eddy fuels a redemptive ecosystem of which Christians are a product.

David W. Fagerberg, Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology (Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2016), p. 30. ISBN: 978-1-62138-168-6.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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