- List of Contributors
- What Is Apocalyptic Literature?
- Apocalyptic Prophecy
- The Inheritance of Prophecy in Apocalypse
- Wisdom and Apocalypticism
- Scriptural Interpretation in Early Jewish Apocalypses
- Apocalyptic Literature and the Study of Early Jewish Mysticism
- Dreams and Visions in Early Jewish and Early Christian Apocalypses and Apocalypticism
- Social-Scientific Approaches to Apocalyptic Literature
- Jewish Apocalyptic Literature as Resistance Literature
- Apocalypse and Empire
- A Postcolonial Reading of Apocalyptic Literature
- The Rhetoric of Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
- Early Christian Apocalyptic Rhetoric
- Deconstructing Apocalyptic Literalist Allegory
- Apocalyptic Determinism
- Apocalyptic Dualism
- Apocalyptic Ethics and Behavior
- Apocalypse and Torah in Ancient Judaism
- Apocalypticism and Christian Origins
- Descents to Hell and Ascents to Heaven in Apocalyptic Literature
- Apocalypses among Gnostics and Manichaeans
- The Imagined World of the Apocalypses
- Messianism as a Political Power in Contemporary Judaism
- Apocalypticism and Radicalism
- Apocalypse and Violence
- Apocalypticism in Contemporary Christianity
- Apocalypse and Trauma
- Apocalypticism and Popular Culture
- Scriptural and Ancient Texts
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines apocalypticism in popular culture, based on a new understanding of apocalypticism as a historical and global worldview. The first sections describe apocalypticism, define popular culture, and discuss the role of fiction as the primary conduit through which the worldview is expressed today. The next section explores how apocalypticism can be identified and assessed in popular culture. The chapter then presents nine cases that illustrate the wide range of apocalyptic expression in contemporary popular culture: Neon Genesis Evangelion; The Matrix; Neuromancer; Promethea; The Stand; A Canticle for Leibowitz; the Left Behind series; new religious movements; and, finally, the 2012 “Mayan Apocalypse,” the Internet, and “superflat” apocalypticism. The chapter concludes with a section on the ever-increasing appeal of apocalyptic speculation in popular culture today.
Lorenzo DiTommaso is a Professor in the Department of Religion at Concordia University (Montréal). He is the author of several books, including The Book of Daniel and the Apocryphal Daniel Literature.
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