1. The meanings of the expression “end of the world”

1. THE MEANINGS OF THE EXPRESSION “END OF THE WORLD”

The idea of the end of the world transcends the temporal, spatial, cultural and religious barriers. It is a concept incessantly discussed. Now, in the age of information, we have probably read about it in books or on the Internet, we heard about it at church or on the radio, or we have seen it in various forms on TV. A lot of people debate about the end of the world. But what does this end of the world actually mean?

The expression “end of the world” may refer to a multitude of things, depending on the meaning of its two terms. The first term, “end,” may signify: disappearance, extinction, destruction, (radical) transformation, migration, extermination or death. In turn, the term “world” can be used with the meaning of: humanity, mankind, civilization, the Universe, Earth (planet) or a group of people. Hence, the expression “end of the world” may refer to any combination between the possible meanings of its two terms, as it follows: the transformation of humanity, the extinction of the human race, the destruction of Earth, the transformation of the Universe, the fall of civilization, a significant change in the environmental conditions and so on.

The meanings of the expression “end of the world” vary according to time, place and especially religion, which has often been an essential part of a group’s culture. For example, during the Middle Ages Christians believed that the end of the world would come when the Christian religion would be destroyed by a Muslim or a Jewish invasion. By contrast, the contemporary Christian doctrine depicts the end of the world as a total destruction or renovation of mankind.

The idea of the end of the world, generally speaking, may arise from two independent roots: empirical observation and divine revelation.



You might also be interested in:

3.2. The central point of Christian eschatology: the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Much of the Christian doctrine was conceived during the dark times of the Roman persecution and of the Middle Ages. Therefore, the dominant Christian point of view depicts a human order deeply and hopelessly wrong, decadent, beyond human powers of correction. Yet, the end of the world is not a divine punishment for the sins of humanity, but its salvation from self-destruction and the hope of a better world...

1. The ideological chaos of the 20th century

...Solovyov said that violence is inherent to the human being. Accordingly, mankind will never be able to suppress it and self-destruction is only a matter of time. In his numerous writings, the famous H. G. Wells questioned the future of human existence as well, but his point of view was moderate. Wells feared that the greatness of science might be too much for the weakness of man, and the world will not be able to restrain itself from...

9. The self-destructive apocalypses of the third millennium

...Overpopulation entails consequences that can hardly be predicted in detail; they are rather sketched. In fact, the problem is not necessarily the large number of people, but the need for space and resources of every individual. Man is a greedy being, which does not know when to stop. Greed is instinctual; it can hardly be controlled. In most part of our existence as a species, we lived in hunger and scarcity...


Share this page

Please read the rules before making a comment

Leave a comment