Watching the sun fall

Rhetoric, ethics and poetics of the apocalypse
2020
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In a time such as our own, the image of the apocalypse can rise quite naturally in our minds.
We are witnessing the intensification of natural phenomena hitting tirelessly the same places, the Amazon burning down and the Australian bush going up in flames, the rise of temperatures and the rise of sea level. We are witnessing the monstrous shrinking of biodiversity. We are witnessing the growing numbers of climate refugees, and the aberrant inequalities of climate change.
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But surely, it is overly dramatic, and a cultural trope: hasn’t religion instilled this fear for centuries?   
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Yet, even so, is it to be discarded entirely?
Because, what is the apocalypse, exactly? And the apocalyptic rhetoric? In the face of our contemporary, worldly situation, can there be a room for it, can it create, perhaps, a necessary shock? Or is using that word simply counterproductive, useless, stupidly nihilistic?
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This essay is a modest attempt at answering these questions, an attempt that is aware of its own limits. It is in fact, rather, a journey, a personal exploration, exploring fields of religion, economics, politics, ethics and art.




Mark