Thursday, November 17, 2022

#322 / Hope In Apocalypse


I subscribe to Plough Quarterly, a rather unusual magazine. Plough is published by the Bruderhof. Let me quote what the Bruderhof say about who they are. They are: "an international movement of Christian communities whose members are called to follow Jesus together in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount and of the first church in Jerusalem, sharing all ... talents, income, and possessions (Acts 2 and 4). Bruderhof communities, which include both families and single people from a wide range of backgrounds, are located in the United States, England, Germany, Australia, and Paraguay. Visitors are welcome."

The Summer 2022 edition of Plough Quarterly has an article entitled, "Hoping for Doomsday," by Peter Mommsen. The subtitle is this: "The times are troubled. That's why we need the promise of apocalypse." 

The suggestion that the "promise of apocalypse" is something "positive" is not what might be called "conventional wisdom." In general, we tend to think that the "apocalypse" will not be a good thing. In fact, the word is typically defined in a way that suggests that the apocalypse will be the opposite of good, if and when it arrives:
the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation
an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale

Mommsen suggests that this definition is not, in fact, Biblical, and that in the Bible, "apocalypse" means "the revealing." This is putting a rather positive spin on the end of what we know, but I think it's worth thinking that this might, actually, be the right way to consider those "end times" that are more and more appearing to be inevitable. 

To me, at least, thinking only about global warming and the increasing dangers of atomic war, it seems obvious that "things can't go on like this." The world as we have known it is going to change - is changing. It is changing, in fact, even as we marvel at the fact that it can. What we have always relied upon as a constant can no longer be relied upon. What is popularly called "Climate Change" is the best example. We have relied upon rivers with water, and forests without fire. Such reliance is, clearly, no longer warranted. Things have changed!

Those who read my blog postings on any regular basis might remember that I have suggested that it is, in fact, possible to make positive changes in the realities we currently inhabit, and that there is no "doomsday law" that is inevitable. "Doomsday," in other words, might well be considered as a "revelation" of the possible, as opposed to a confirmation of the catastrophic destruction of everything we have built for ourselves, and have relied upon, in the human world that we have created. That is, essentially, what Plough Quarterly says. 

I find that a hopeful thought - and the title on the front cover of that Spring 2022 issue of Plough Quarterly wants us to see it that way. The cover proclaims: "Hope In Apocalypse." 

A revelation that real change is possible could well "speak to our condition," as the Quakers might say. Our dreams and hopes for the triumph of love over death might be waiting to be revealed as the reality it could, in fact, become!
Image Credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!