apocalypticism

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apocalypticism

discourse that refers to theological and secular theories of the end of the world. Beyond its origins in biblical scripture, apocalyptic thought is often related to significant dates or moments of great historical change. The years 999 and 1999 both saw an increase in theories surrounding the prophesied end of the world. At times of profound historical change groups like the Diggers, Levellers, and Luddites have all informed and reflected apocalyptic belief systems. Often this form of knowledge can be equated with an anxious fear about the nature of OTHERNESS. As later examples show, contemporary apocalypticism frequently mixes with conspiratorial thought to produce events such as the Waco massacre and the Heaven's Gate suicides. In these instances apocalypticism tends to overlap millenarian thought. In the latter, the idea of the absolute end of the world is replaced by the notion of a relative apocalyptic that will result in the rebirth of a better social order. Thus the tension between UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA is implicit in apocalyptic discourse. Some examples, such as the image of the nuclear apocalypse, tend to stress the idea of absolute dystopic destruction, while others, such as the Calvinist world-view discussed by Max Weber, reflect the concept of the relative apocalypse, i.e., the dystopic death of a rotten social order and rebirth of a new ‘just’ utopian world.
References in periodicals archive ?
The apocalypticists posed a greater threat because they gathered large numbers and preached that when Christ returned, oppressive rulers would fall and the poor would inherit the earth.
For Jewish apocalypticists, a messianic age is envisioned, and extremists seek to "force the end" of last day events by engaging in destructive behaviors in the present.
While Jewish fundamentalists are perhaps more affected as a sect than their Christian counterparts because of their proximity to the Temple Mount itself, a large part of the book's thesis is that Christian apocalypticists are financing and supporting their efforts on a global basis.
Nonetheless, all these lacunae help emphasize one of the major points that Popkin and his friends were trying to make: early-modern Europe was teeming with messianic prophets, millenarians, chiliasts, apocalypticists, and utopians.
When in the political realm the apocalypticists of today say "ein lanu partnerim, "we have no partners (for the peace process), what they are saying in the existential realm is, "we don't see in them a reflection of our own humanity.
Emmerson (Antichrist in the Middle Ages: A Study of Medieval Apocalypticism, Art, and Literature [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981]), and Marjorie Reeves (The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages: A Study in Joachism [Oxford: Clarendon, 1969]), all of whom focus on the central contention of medieval apocalypticists themselves that history is finite and seeks closure.
The pure fantasy of this street-wise pragmatist delusion, that the IMF and Temple Bar, Brad Pitt and chocolate chip cookies will still all be up and running in the year 5000, makes the hairy, wild-eyed apocalypticists look like spineless moderates.
Communism endured for almost a century because it could draw on the counterfactual faith of all apocalypticists.
The seventeenth-century Quakers, as apocalypticists, did not at first translate their theology of spiritual equality into social reform, although their own communal religious life was characterized by the active ministry of women.
How the late apocalypticists love mouthing all about the gold & silver & cinnamon of evil Babylon
Packull's reconstruction of their history is convincing; he warns against neat distinctions between biblicists, spiritualists, and apocalypticists.