Edited by:Veronika Wieser, Vincent Eltschinger and Johann Heiss
De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Thebelief in the Last Things has an integral place in Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. In the West as in the East, the last 2000 years have seen many different ways of proclaiming that the end is nigh and that the world was teetering on the brink of disaster or on the edge of a new epoch. Bringing together central eschatological topics such as death, the afterlife, the end of time, musings about the transience of the world or an empire, the two volumes aim to explain how eschatological thought influenced and factored into the political and religious perception and self-definition of medieval communities. Studying Muslim apocalyptic literature, Brahmanical, Buddhist and Christian eschatological beliefs in a comparative way will shed light on the dynamic relations between processes of social identification and apocalyptic interpretations. The volumes offer overarching perspectives on the different types of eschatology in different religions as well as studies focusing on single sources, individuals or specific local contexts, and analyze ‘Cultures of Eschatology’ that were formed in between universal, polytheistic, individual and collective conceptions of religion and history with regard to literary traditions, manuscript transmission, social and cultural practices, rituals, images, bodies and empires.
Veronika Wieser and Johann Heiss, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna; Vincent Eltschinger, École Praticque des Hautes Études, Paris.