Originally published in German in 1988, ""The Apocalypse in Germany"" is translated here into English. A fitting subject for the dawn of the new millennium, the apocalypse has intrigued humanity for the last 2000 years, serving as both a fascinating vision of redemption and a profound threat. A cross-disciplinary study, ""The Apocalypse in Germany"" analyzes fundamental aspects of the apocalypse as a religious, political and aesthetic phenomenon. Author Klaus Vondung draws from religious, philosophical and political texts, as well as works of art and literature. Using classic Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts as symbolic and historical paradigms, Vondung determines the structural characteristics of the typical images of the apocalyptic worldview. He clarifies the relationship between apocalyptic visions and utopian speculations and explores the question of whether modern apocalypses can be viewed as secularizations of the Judeo-Christian models. Examining sources from the 18th century to the present, Vondung considers the origins of German nationalism, World War I, National Socialism and the apocalyptic tendencies in Marxism as well as German literature - from the fin de siecle to postmodernism. His analysis of the existential dimension of the apocalypse explores the circumstances under which particular individuals become apocalyptic visionaries and explains why the apocalyptic tradition is so prevalent in Germany. The book offers an interdisciplinary perspective that should appeal to a broad audience. It may also be of value to readers with an interest in German studies, as it clarifies the riddles of Germany's turbulent history and examines the profile of German culture, particularly in the 20th century.
Professor at the University of Siegen, Germany, Klaus Vondung is the author of numerous books in German and editor of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 2, Race and State and The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 3, The History of the Race Idea, both available from the University of Missouri Press.