Doomsday MsWLZ
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Doomsday MsWLZ Presentation Transcript

  • 1. APOCALYPSE
  • 2. THIS IS THE END, MY ONLY FRIEND, THE END • (Apologies to Jim Morrison.) • Many, many mythoi have apocalyptic tales. For our purposes, though, I am classifying “apocalypses” mainly as end of the world scenarios. Some myths, such as floods, are “mini” apocalypses,” but humanity manages to revive itself. Some cultures, such as the Greeks, have stages of humanity; one stage ends, another begins. • I cover some apocalypses in videos, but I also want to hit some “highlights” (if the end of the world can be classified as such), in this PPT.
  • 3. • Greek gods were (are?) immortal; they could not die, which ruled out an apocalypse that included the death of deities. Although the Greeks had stages of humanity, there was not an end-all for the world. • Egyptian deities could die, but again, no myth of the world coming to an end; the Egyptians saw the afterlife as a continuation of this world. Sumeria was threatened with an apocalypse when Ereshkigal said she would loose the dead on the living, but it did not happen. • Like other polytheistic mythoi, the deities of the Norse pantheon are not immortal but are subject to death like humans. The gods and goddesses of Asgard know their ultimate fate, but do not even try to circumvent it because they know that to do so would be futile. Instead, they spend their time going about their business and partying in Valhalla. • Of all the mythoi that have a concept of doomsday, the Norse, Christian and the-did-not-happen Mayan versions are perhaps the best known.
  • 4. RAGNAROK • Ragnarok is sometimes translated as “Twilight of the Gods,” but this is too romantic and too kind! A much better and more apt translation is “Destruction of the Gods.” This destruction was foretold in the Voluspa. • The first indication that doom is coming is Fimbulvetr, the winter of winters. There will be three such winters with no summers in between. Conflicts and feuds will break out, even between families, and all morality will disappear. • The wolf Skoll will finally devour the sun, and his brother Hati will eat the moon, the stars will vanish from the sky and the earth will be dark. The cock Fjalar will summon the giants and the golden cock Gullinkambi will crow to the gods. A third cock will raise the dead.
  • 5. • The earth will shudder with earthquakes, and the terrible wolf Fenrir will break free. The sea will rear up because Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, is twisting and writhing in fury as he makes his way toward the land, poisoning the soil and the sky with his breath. The waves caused by the serpent's emerging will set free the ship Naglfar, and with the giant Hymir as their commander, the giants will sail towards the battlefield. • From the realm of the dead a second ship will set sail, and this ship carries the inhabitants of hell, with Loki as their helmsman. The fire giants, led by the giant Surt, will leave Muspell in the south to join against the gods. Surt, carrying a sword that blazes like the sun itself, will scorch the earth.
  • 6. • Heimdall, the guardian of Bifrost, the rainbow bridge to Asgard, will sound his horn, calling the sons of Odin and the heroes to the battlefield. From all the corners of the world, gods, giants, dwarves, demons and elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid ("battle shaker") where the last battle will be fought. Odin will engage Fenrir (the wolf) in battle, and Thor will attack Jormungand (the serpent). Thor will be victorious, but the serpent's poison will gradually kill the god of thunder. Surt will seek out the swordless Freyr and kill him
  • 7. HEIMDALL
  • 8. • The one-handed Tyr will fight the hell hound Garm and they will kill each other. Loki and Heimdall, age-old enemies, will meet for a final time, and both will die. The fight between Odin and Fenrir will rage for a long time, but finally Fenrir will swallow him Odin. Odin's son, Vidar, will jump at Fenrir and kill him with his bare hands, ripping the wolf's jaws apart. (Notice the balance—the combatants tend to kill each other or one dies shortly after his opponent.)
  • 9. FENRIR AND ODIN AT RAGNAROK
  • 10. LOKI AND HEIMDALL
  • 11. • Then Surt will fling fire in every direction. The nine worlds will burn, and friends and foes alike will perish. The earth will sink into the sea. • After the destruction, a new and idyllic world will arise from the sea and will be filled with abundant supplies. Some of the gods will survive, others will be reborn. Wickedness and misery will no longer exist and gods and men will live happily together. The descendants of Lif and Lifthrasir (a couple who hides in the roots of Yggdrasil) will inhabit this earth. • It has been suggested that the revival of the world(s) is a later addition by Christian translators and scribes. In particular, one myth relates that Baldur will return from Helheim to head a council of new gods—this sounds like a polytheistic version of the resurrection of Christ! Also, if the cosmos is destroyed, there would be no Yggdrasil to hide a couple. Heimdall’s sounding of the horn is also close to the trumpet blast from the archangel Gabriel.
  • 12. CHRISTIANITY • The Christian tale of the apocalypse varies as much as do the denominations of Christianity—and Islam. (And please note—NO disrespect is meant in discussing the apocalypse of the Christian Scriptures. The battle has many elements found in other religions.) • Armageddon is the final battle on Earth, and is often cited as to take place in the Valley of Megiddo. According to some accounts, a battle between nations will take place, resulting in a desolate, wasted Earth. • Jesus will return, wage a battle between earthly and supernatural enemies, and a new heaven and new earth will be established. • As we saw earlier, a huge battle between good and evil is seen in Norse myth; we see this scenario played out in fiction (Lord of the Rings, Narnia Chronicles) and in real life—both sides of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WW I and II thought this.
  • 13. THE APOCALYPSE THAT WASN’T • I would be remiss if I did not at least mention the Mayan apocalypse of 2012! I will not go into detail, but many people believed (and partially believed) that the world would come to an end in December 21, 2012. This belief was based on the absence of a long count Mayan calendar for December 22 and upward. Astronomical events that occurred around the same time also contributed to the idea that the world would end or, at least, undergo a huge transformation. • I kept suggesting that in order to prevent the end of the world, we should start sacrificing the winning Super Bowl team to appease the Mayan deities—after all, the Mayans sacrificed the winning ball team to their gods. • My advice was not needed, however, as nothing happened. The willingness to believe that something would happen, thought, is a constant in our society. When the calendar changed to 2000, many people thought a catastrophe would occur. The more rational ones said it would be due to computer malfunctions; others said even if it were the WWW crashing, the millennium would be the real culprit. The latter seemed not to realize that the millennium did not truly begin until 2001.
  • 14. AND, OF COURSE, THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE IS REAL • I posted some links on the coming ZA but I am not going to discuss it! I want the class to theorize on why the ZA is so popular, but I will ask a question: • Is the ZA symbolic of real issues in the world? How does it embody our fears of both the known and the unknown?