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Humanities 2014, 3(4), 711-739; doi:10.3390/h3040711

The Culture of Endings

College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University, Retired, 9 Blair Street, Watson, Australian Capital Territory 2602, Australia
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 8 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 17 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humanity’s Future)
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Abstract

This article analyses the cultural state of mind characteristic of historical periods at some kind of endpoint: the end of a world or even of the world or, most hypothetically, of the universe. This is the idea of Last Days. In order to contextualize it, it is necessary to consider varying conceptions of temporality: a hunter-gatherer model, models of cyclical time and of linear time. At least in the West, this last may be understood as a product of Judaeo-Christian thinking, of which the article gives an account focussed on the motifs of eschatology, apocalypse and messianism. Finally the article proposes that the present moment in history, characterized as “Post-Modernity”, may readily be read as a time of endings, perhaps even of a conclusive end. View Full-Text
Keywords: models of temporality; biblical and mediaeval studies; eschatology; apocalypse; messianism; the Enlightenment; Structuralism; Post-Structuralism; Post-Modernity models of temporality; biblical and mediaeval studies; eschatology; apocalypse; messianism; the Enlightenment; Structuralism; Post-Structuralism; Post-Modernity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dobrez, L. The Culture of Endings. Humanities 2014, 3, 711-739.

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