Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Apocalypse

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_39

“Apocalypse” is a transliteration of the Greek work apokalypsis meaning “to uncover or disclose.” Within the Judeo-Christian tradition, it means the specific ways in which God reveals himself or herself to humans. Prophecy, in turn, is the form of our access to that apocalypse, though some scholars have distinguished the prophetic from the apocalyptic traditions. In prophetism, it is argued, we are called to a change of heart, to repentance in the present, to a new way of living. It is a call to efficacy and a challenge to change so that we can avoid catastrophe. In the apocalyptic, or the already determined future, hope is deferred, which is why it is so often associated with the poor, the brokenhearted, the oppressed (Buber 1954/1957, pp. 192–207).

In that revelation that defines the apocalyptic, human history ends as God becomes fully immanent. In most (but not all) such myths, great violence is associated with this transition from the human to the divine. World-ending notions – the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College and the Graduate CenterThe City University of New YorkBrooklynUSA