Medieval Apocalypticism: The Meaning of History at the End of Days

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Medieval texts are filled with apocalyptic images and narratives, though they may not always be explicitly eschatological works. Behind these tropes of the end of the world lie concepts of history and divine providence that informed and evolved from the earliest Christian writers to the dawning of modern ideas of history. Although it may appear that the apocalypse is dealing with one concrete moment in time, it is really dealing with time itself. While in the past scholars have focused on the theological aspects of these texts or else mined them for evidence of actual people and events, more recently historians have argued that apocalypses reflect contemporary concepts of history. This session will contribute to this growing body of scholarship by examining the meaning of history in both traditional apocalypses and in other texts employing apocalyptic themes.Anna LankinaChristopher Bonura