Eagerly awaiting the end of the world?
Ideas about the world coming to an end, observations, fear, and the sense that serious natural catastrophes might spell the end of the world, are now an integral part of the general sense of dread which characterises the Western world. The idea that the world might come to an end was first introduced by early Christianity. It further established itself following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and has developed over the course of the last 2,000 years, now becoming a subject of research and even featuring in contemporary pop music.
In his latest book, Dies irea, the Heidelberg Historian, emeritus Professor Johannes Fried, examines the history and transformation of the term, “the end of the world” (Weltuntergang). His colleague, Prof. Dr. Gerrit Jasper Schenk, from the University of Darmstadt, researches how mythical and actual natural catasrophes have brought about social changes in the last century.
Moderation: Jörg Tröger
Fried, Schenk & Tröger