Apocalypticism: Language, Theology, Politics

Apocalyptic movements have flourished, from time to time, throughout history. In this interdisciplinary course, we study apocalyptic beliefs and streams of thought, from biblical times through the Middle Ages and into modern times. We investigate apocalypticism with regard to its mythological roots, linguistic expressions, and theological development, as well as it’s ethical and political use. We examine texts with apocalyptic features from different eras using tools from cognitive metaphor theory, philosophy and the history of ideas, political rhetoric, and film analysis. The course provides an in-depth understanding of apocalypticism as an historical phenomenon and as a literary, theological, and political means of expression.

Efter kursen förväntas studenten:

  • demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of apocalypticism as an historical, literary, and theological phenomenon, its background, development, and change
  • demonstrate an in-depth understanding of current research on apocalypticism in both the past and the present, as well as substantial insight into political and esthetic aspects of apocalypticism
  • demonstrate the ability to identify underlying world-views and values in apocalyptic currents, and independently assess the theological and ethical implications of contemporary apocalyptic expression
  • demonstrate the ability to critically read and systematically examine apocalyptic texts using linguistic, theological, and philosophical analytical tools, and be able to present and discuss findings orally and in writing in both national and international context

Collins, John J., 1998 (1984): The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. Second edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans (283 p).

The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism. 2000. Vol. 1: The Origins of Apocalypticism in Judaism and Christianity. Edited by John J. Collins. New York/London: Continuum. P. 3-83, 267-302, 345-414 (186 p).

Horsley, Richard A., 2012: The Prophet Jesus and the Renewal of Israel: Moving Beyond a Diversionary Debate. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. P. 1-64 (64 p).

Horsley, Richard A., and Tiller, Patrick A., 2012: After Apocalyptic and Wisdom: Rethinking Texts in Context. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books. P. 1-16, 56-80, 103-279, 291-303 (230 p).

Himmelfarb, Martha, 1993: Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses. New York: Oxford University Press (114 p).
Himmelfarb, Martha, 2010: The Apocalypse: A Brief History. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell (160 s).

Keller, Catherine, 2005 (1997): Apocalypse Now and Then: Feminist Guide to the End of the World. Minneapolis: Fortress Press (310 p).

Osborn, Ronald E., 2010: Anarchy and Apocalypse: Essays on Faith, Violence, and Theodicy. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books (155 p).

Visions of the End: Apocalyptic Traditions in the Middle Ages. 1998 (1979). Edited by av Bernard McGinn. New York: Columbia University Press (347 p).

Primary texts and some articles 200 p. 

Schemat finns tillgängligt senast en månad innan kursen startar. Vi rekommenderar inte att du skriver ut schemat eftersom vissa ändringar kan ske.

Öppna schemat

Thomas Kazen

Professor, pastor


Jayne Svenungsson


Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson




U = Underkänd, G = Godkänd, VG = Väl godkänd


  • Hemtentamen
  • PM
  • Seminarier

Godkända kurser för en kandidatexamen i teologi/religionsvetenskap, 180 hp, där minst 150 hp utgörs av teologi/religionsvetenskap eller motsvarande. Dessutom kunskaper i engelska motsvarande kraven för grundläggande behörighet.

Fastställd av Ämnesföreträdarkollegiet vid Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm den 22 januari 2013.