'Apocaphilia' Now? Religious Dimensions and Receptions of Climate Change

‚Apocaphilia’ is a neologism of the English-speaking blogosphere and refers to „[a]n attraction to, or taking pleasure in, end-of-society scenarios, such as global nuclear war, or worst-case peak-oil or global-warming.“1) It applies to the context of climate change in particular, possibly because climate change revitalizes the question of how the world, all life, or maybe only human civilization might end. Answers to this question are simultaneously answers to the question about the meaning of it all (even if they are scientifically founded). As such, they can prove to be philosophical or religious, depending on the epistemology employed.
So, essentially, the project assumes that religious inter-pretations of meaning regarding the future can in this context be understood as ‘interpretations of the meaning of it all’ regarding the planet and humanity. Starting from this assumption and enquiring into the extent and character of the ‘apocaphilia’ of the discourse of climate change, the project intends to pursue various religious momenta of this discourse. Scenarios of climate change are far-reaching, seldom sensorially intelligible, and moreover characterized by a high degree of contingency. Hypothetically, religious semantics and narratives are significant to impart knowledge of scenarios such as these, because they render the collective meaning of the imperceptible ostensive and ‘narratable’. Accordingly, differing scenarios of climate change will be analysed by narrotological ‘close reading’ against the backdrop of discourse theory and from a point of view of religious studies.

1) There are several orthographic variations of the term. I use ‚apocaphilia’ and ‚apocaphile’ respectively (see urbandictionary)


M.A. Seline Reinhardt
Prof. Dr. Jens Schlieter (PL)

Status: laufend

letzte Änderung: 26.06.2015