By Stephen D. O'Leary
Apocalyptic expectancies of Armageddon and a brand new Age were a fixture of the yankee cultural panorama for hundreds of years. With the technique of the yr 2000, such millennial visions look once more to be expanding in recognition. Stephen O'Leary sheds new gentle at the age-old phenomenon of the top of the Age through presenting a rhetorical reason for the charm of millennialism. utilizing examples of apocalyptic argument from historical to fashionable instances, O'Leary identifies the routine styles in apocalyptic texts and pursuits and indicates how and why the Christian Apocalypse has been used to help a number of political stances and courses. The ebook concludes with a severe overview of the new appearances of doomsday situations in our politics and tradition, and a meditation at the importance of the Apocalypse within the nuclear age. Arguing the Apocalypse is the main thorough exam of its topic up to now: a learn of a overlooked bankruptcy of our spiritual and cultural background, a advisor to the politics of Armageddon, and a map of millennial awareness.
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Extra resources for Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric
For while mythic imagery forms our original stock for metaphoric invention, such imagery can itself be viewed not only as a predecessor to logical thought, but also as a product of a certain kind of logic. Such a sophisticated conception of logic, myth, and metaphor is well articulated by Paul Ricoeur in his recent study of the problem of evil: [M]yth's function of providing order, thanks to its cosmological import, has as its corollary—and its corrective—the profusion of explanatory schemes it has produced over time.
81 Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor's summary of stasis theory distills the lore of the classical rhetoricians into more concise form: "No matter what the particular proposition maintained in an argument, that proposition must be classified as an answer to one of a set of fundamental questions: (1) Does or did a thing exist or occur? (2) How can it be defined? (3) What is its quality? a n d . . "82 Immediately obvious, and significant for this analysis, is that these questions are not independent of each other, but develop in a hierarchical sequence.
Aristotle distinguishes between two basic categories of topoi. The common or universal topics "apply equally to questions of right conduct, natural science, politics, and many other things that have nothing to do with one another," while the special topics "are based on such propositions as apply only to particular groups or classes of things. 10 Applying equally to all forms of knowledge production (that is, discourse taking place in the context of any discipline or practice), the common topoi can be described as basic categories of human practical reasoning.
Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric by Stephen D. O'Leary