North Korean missile tests, Iranian nuclear ambitions, GM going bankrupt … can The End be far off? Morehead’s Musings reviews Apocalyptic Transformation: Apocalypse and the Postmodern Imagination (Lexington Books: 2008), suggesting apocalyptic anxiety is less a religious doctrine than an aspect of the human condition. The book discusses apocalyptic themes in a variety of films such as the Matrix trilogy.

Here’s how Morehead’s review starts out:

Fears and scenarios concerning the ultimate End of things are far more broad and diverse in the late modern West than the Left Behind novels of evangelicalism and popular culture. …

[Author Elizabeth] Rosen begins her discussion with an introduction into apocalyptic thinking. She notes that just as human beings need origin stories or myths to explain our beginnings, so we also incorporate stories of the End in order to come to grips with the threats of the end in the face of social chaos and the finality of the human story. She also draws the reader’s attention to the fact that stories of the End are sense-making myths that serve as “an organizing principle imposed on an overwhelming, seemingly disordered universe.” Used in this fashion, apocalyptic stories function much like conspiracy and chaos stories.

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