Imagining survivalistic alternatives to nihilistic visions of doom in Roland Emmerich’s disaster films
Lau, Song Leng
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Apocalyptic literature in popular culture today displays a tension between the nihilistic paralysis of the post-World War II period, and the pressing need to move forward existentially. The apocalypse genre functions as a platform for various current worldviews to converge, interact, and challenge each other. This paper will discuss apocalyptic texts in popular film and literature, and take a comparative approach to three apocalyptic trajectories—secular visions of meaningful survival, traditional (and religious) models of a new and reformed world, and visions of complete doom. (Shift from nihilistic treatments, to survivalism) I consider ‘apocalypse’ in both the calamitous sense of the word, and the original Greek meaning of ‘uncovering’ and ‘revelation’. Prophecy in the Christian New Testament book of Revelation treats calamitous events as necessary for purging the old world to make way for a new one. It is this very uncovering of Divine purpose in future calamity that differentiates religious apocalypses from secular, naturalistic explanations of cataclysmic phenomena.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University