Apocalyptic basics

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Apocalyptic basics

  1. 1. Basics of Apocalypticism Introduction to Multimedia Composition Spring 2011
  2. 2. Origin <ul><li>Genre of prophetic works written in early centuries after Jesus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new kind of prophecy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Classic example: Revelation, in the Christian scriptures </li></ul><ul><li>Predecessor in the Hebrew Bible: Daniel </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definitions <ul><li>The word &quot;apocalypse&quot; means revelation, or unveiling </li></ul><ul><li>Refers to the disclosure of a hidden order or plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often presented specially to the writer </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Classical <ul><li>&quot;A genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial insofar as it involves another, supernatural world&quot; (J. Collins) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Doomsday <ul><li>The Christian apocalypse reveals catastrophes that will lead to the end of the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tribulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Armageddon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The millennium </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our world ends in destruction </li></ul><ul><li>It is replaced by a perfect, permanent one </li></ul>
  6. 6. Pessimistic? <ul><li>Written at desperate time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persecution and oppression for early Church </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggests no hope for change in this world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But to wait for salvation and endure suffering </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Optimistic? <ul><li>The millennium is 1000 years of peace on Earth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unclear when it will occur, or if it already has begun </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The world to come is perfect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But only for believers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Narrative <ul><li>In the Christian tradition, the hidden plan is historical </li></ul><ul><li>Thus the apocalypse becomes a narrative -- a story, a plot, or a sequence in time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptable </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Rhetoric <ul><li>Revelation's influence has gone beyond literal interpretations of events </li></ul><ul><li>A widely used framework for speaking and writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About present problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About the future </li></ul></ul><ul><li>&quot;A mode of thought and discourse that empowers its audience to live in a time of disorientation and disorder by revealing to them a fundamental plan&quot; (Brummett) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Conventional <ul><li>&quot;A kind of discourse having to do with the end of the world, with cataclysm and change, that both energizes audiences and is used by many people </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;[About] the end, of final things ... [also about] the sense of disaster or crisis ... [and] the sense of a transition from this world, era, or state of being to another one&quot; (Brummett) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Secularization <ul><li>Apocalypticism may underly non-religious ways of thinking about time, change, and conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revolution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absolutism </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The 20th Century <ul><li>&quot;World&quot; wars: 1914-18, 1939-45 </li></ul><ul><li>Cold War: 1945-1991 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nuclear arms race </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental movement: since 1960s </li></ul><ul><li>Progress? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Today <ul><li>Many real, serious threats to contemporary Western way of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US in decline? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology? </li></ul></ul>

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