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><li>A new kind of prophecy </li></ul><li>Classic example: Revelation, in the Christian scriptures
  3. 3. Predecessor in the Hebrew Bible: Daniel </li></ul>
  4. 4. Definitions <ul><li>The word &quot;apocalypse&quot; means revelation, or unveiling
  5. 5. Refers to the disclosure of a hidden order or plan </li><ul><li>Often presented specially to the writer </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 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>
  7. 7. Doomsday <ul><li>The Christian apocalypse reveals catastrophes that will lead to the end of the world </li><ul><li>Tribulations
  8. 8. Armageddon
  9. 9. The millennium </li></ul><li>Our world ends in destruction
  10. 10. It is replaced by a perfect, permanent one </li></ul>
  11. 11. Pessimistic? <ul><li>Written at desperate time </li><ul><li>Persecution and oppression for early Church </li></ul><li>Suggests no hope for change in this world </li><ul><li>But to wait for salvation and endure suffering </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Optimistic? <ul><li>The millennium is 1000 years of peace on Earth </li><ul><li>Unclear when it will occur, or if it already has begun </li></ul><li>The world to come is perfect </li><ul><li>But only for believers </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Narrative <ul><li>In the Christian tradition, the hidden plan is historical
  14. 14. Thus the apocalypse becomes a narrative -- a story, a plot, or a sequence in time </li><ul><li>About the future
  15. 15. Adaptable </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Rhetoric <ul><li>Revelation's influence has gone beyond literal interpretations of events
  17. 17. A widely used framework for speaking and writing </li><ul><li>About present problems
  18. 18. About the future </li></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>
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. &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>
  21. 21. Secularization <ul><li>Apocalypticism may underly non-religious ways of thinking about time, change, and conflict </li><ul><li>Progress
  22. 22. Revolution
  23. 23. Absolutism </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. The 20th Century <ul><li>&quot;World&quot; wars: 1914-18, 1939-45
  25. 25. Cold War: 1945-1991 </li><ul><li>Nuclear arms race </li></ul><li>Environmental movement: since 1960s
  26. 26. Progress? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Today <ul><li>Many real, serious threats to contemporary Western way of life </li><ul><li>US in decline?
  28. 28. Environment?
  29. 29. Technology? </li></ul></ul>