Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to speak Apocalypse: A terminology primer

By Aaron Sagers, a New York-based entertainment writer and nationally syndicated pop-culture columnist. - It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel confused. Instead of a lone doomsday-sayer on a city street corner with a sandwich board, the news media and popular culture have taken to talking about the end being nigh. Especially with the 2012 Mayan calendar predictions, the big one has become big business. But not all end-of-days scenarios are equal within the world of dedicated apocalypse nerds. There are multiple theories that go beyond the zombocalypse or rise of the machines, and even the words themselves that are used to describe humanity’s last hurrah have different meanings, depending on the groups that use them. To understand the nuances of the language of the end times, we compiled the following key phrases from the nerd set as a glossary to go out on, along with the help of John R. Hall, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis, and author of “Apocalypse: From Antiquity to the Empire of Modernity.”
Apocalypse - In Greek, "apocalypse" means something like “disclosure of things previously hidden.” “That being the title of the [Christian] Book of Revelation, it’s often taken to mean the revelation of the last things before God’s final judgment,” Hall said. Apocalyptic movements emerge many times through history where profound changes are said to occur and a new world is dawning. But, Hall added, “those movements are not generally about the end of the world in the ultimate sense.”
Armageddon - “End times” is simply a popular usage for talking about the end of the world, and the same thing can be said for “doomsday.” "Armageddon" is a specific reference to the Book of Revelation or apocalypse in the Bible's New Testament. Said Hall: “It is the final battle between good and evil that comes just before God’s judgment at the end of the world.”


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