By Stephen D. O'Leary
Apocalyptic expectancies of Armageddon and a brand new Age were a fixture of the yankee cultural panorama for hundreds of years. With the process of the 12 months 2000, such millennial visions look once more to be expanding in acceptance. Stephen O'Leary sheds new gentle at the age-old phenomenon of the top of the Age via providing a rhetorical cause of the charm of millennialism. utilizing examples of apocalyptic argument from historical to fashionable instances, O'Leary identifies the habitual styles in apocalyptic texts and pursuits and exhibits how and why the Christian Apocalypse has been used to aid numerous political stances and courses. The ebook concludes with a severe evaluation of the new appearances of doomsday situations in our politics and tradition, and a meditation at the importance of the Apocalypse within the nuclear age. Arguing the Apocalypse is the main thorough exam of its topic so far: a examine of a overlooked bankruptcy of our non secular and cultural heritage, a advisor to the politics of Armageddon, and a map of millennial attention.
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Extra info for Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric
There remains, then, no other means of settling the question than to convince the parties, who refute each other with such conclusiveness and ability, that they are disputing about nothing, and that a transcendental illusion has been mocking them with visions of reality where there is none. 38 Since the present study is not concerned with logical validity or objective truth, an initial response to Kant's dismissal would be to reiterate the thesis of the first chapter, and argue that the "transcendental illusion" of cosmological (and specifically, eschatological) argument has led enough people astray that the critic's task of untangling the nuances of this argument form is all the more urgent.
11 In specifying two of the four common topoi in terms of temporal reference, Aristotle seems to indicate that some essential categories of practical reasoning are based on time. The decision that the rhetor requires of the audience in the present can be argued for by relating judgment in the present TIME, EVIL, A U T H O R I T Y 23 to what has gone before or what may come after. 12 Common topoi are rooted in modes of thought pervasive among all human beings: the questions of what is, what has been, what can or might be, and of comparisons between these, are constituted through the very existence of any linguistic or symbolic system.
Time must have a stop, and come to its fruition in a point of ending beyond which is eternity, or time is infinite, and will continue on through the unending cycle of eternal return. Such are some of the antinomic forms assumed by the propositions of cosmological argument. Mythological narratives are not reducible to such propositional statements; they are speculative enactments of them, attempts to realize their implications by "playing with hypotheses" (as Ricoeur puts it) in narrative form. The cosmological antinomies cited above illustrate the hypothetical propositions that can be abstracted from the mythic narratives of a wide variety of cultures, or (to reverse perspectives) from which these narratives are derived.
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