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Apocalypse Theory and the Ends of the World

Overview

In this volume, leading historians, critics and theorists review three thousand years of apocalyptic thought. Tracing the history of millenarianism from ancient times to the present day, they investigate the modern and postmodern debates in which apocalyptic themes are recirculated. From Zoroaster to Derrida, thinkers have used the dramatic language of apocalyptic to uncover the ends of the world - exploring the relationship between ends as purposes and ends as terminations, and the connections between religious ...
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Overview

In this volume, leading historians, critics and theorists review three thousand years of apocalyptic thought. Tracing the history of millenarianism from ancient times to the present day, they investigate the modern and postmodern debates in which apocalyptic themes are recirculated. From Zoroaster to Derrida, thinkers have used the dramatic language of apocalyptic to uncover the ends of the world - exploring the relationship between ends as purposes and ends as terminations, and the connections between religious and secular versions of apocalyptic theory. In the resulting interplay of closure and disclosure, they have sought to find purpose to life, and a conclusion to history. As the millennium draws to a close, questions about the end of the world seem increasingly urgent. This volume is a guide to these bewildering questions and discourses of the limit. It will be of interest to anyone participating in contemporary debates in cultural studies, religious studies, literary theory, postmodernist philosophy and history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631190820
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/15/1995
  • Series: Wolfson College Lectures
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Acknowledgements
1 On Making Ends Meet 1
2 How Time Acquired a Consummation 21
3 'Upon Whom the Ends of the Ages have Come': Apocalyptic and the Interpretation of the New Testament 38
4 The End of the World and the Beginning of Christendom 58
5 Pattern and Purpose in History in the Later Medieval and Renaissance Periods 90
6 Seventeenth-Century Millenarianism 112
7 Secular Apocalypse: Prophets and Apocalyptics at the End of the Eighteenth Century 137
8 Saint-Simonian Industrialism as the End of History: August Cieszkowski on the Teleology of Universal History 159
9 Apocalypse, Millennium and Utopia Today 200
10 Versions of Apocalypse: Kant, Derrida, Foucault 227
11 Waiting for the End 250
12 Adorno as Lateness Itself 264
Index 282
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