Doomsday Speculation as a Strategy of Persuasion. A Study of Apocalypticism as Rhetoric
|Author: ||Borchardt, Frank|
Examines Doomsday predictions as a rhetorical ploy, arguing that assertions regarding the imminent "End of the [or a] World" represent a means of coercion to get others (or the world) to do something or stop doing something. Focuses on (1) the rhetorical dimension of the doom-sayers' predictions, and (2) the special logic of the doom-sayer. Observes how the seemingly outward-directed argument reverts to the self, concluding that predicting doom appears to be objective and to apply to the outside world, but is ultimately subjective, self-serving, and self-centered.
"What B[orchardt] primarily studies is the psychology of apocalypticism, and that difference endows his work with much wider appeal than its title indicates. The book is a fascinating, easily read analysis of the age-old and universal tendency to feel that life is deteriorating to such an extent that it cannot last much longer as we know it." - Fifteenth-Century Studies