apocalypticism

(redirected from apocalyptism)
Also found in: Dictionary.

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 ?
There has been plenty of apocalyptism in some quarters, to be sure.
On the side of religious apocalyptism, this limitableness clearly owes a good deal to larger organizations' recognition that precise dating comports poorly with the need to maintain a membership base: so far, dramatic predictions of radical upheaval have come only from groups small enough to allow for outright journalistic dismissal.
In making their case for the intensity of millennial anxieties, several of Falk's fellow contributors assert that apocalyptism has been intensified by the prospect of nuclear destruction, but Falk rightly points out that because the events of 1989 weakened this fear, the 1990s have been marked more authentically by a post-apocalyptic sensibility--not a belief that apocalypse has occurred, but a mistaken and dangerous belief that the nuclear threat has been eliminated.
Inter alia, it was anarchism, nihilism, apocalyptism, imperialism, masculinism, psychologism, skepticism, and primitivism: The list goes on, swelling in that sharply worded phantasmagoria we call literary history, collapsing any simplifying hierarchy but nonetheless swallowing up the slim contingent of Victorian hopefulnesses we know by the names liberalism, humanism, and progressivism.
Such an image of modernist apocalyptism is itself apocalyptic, and this essay, like several other recent studies of modernism, is devoted to challenging it.
Morality, the State and the Epistemology of Apocalyptism Among the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea.
That Forster more particularly belongs to the tradition of modernist apocalyptism, a tradition which includes T.
In the large context of modernist apocalyptism "squalor" itself takes on apocalyptic suggestiveness and thereby justifies Forster's (and Margaret's) later decision to thicken, epigrammatize, even capitalize it (before it assumes capital letters in Margaret's climactic utterance it appears repeatedly uncapitalized).
For an account of the modernist apocalyptist's critique of their own apocalyptism, see Longenbach (844).