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Nuclear winter in science and the world
Paul Rubinson

v 11 v Imagining the apocalypse: nuclear winter in science and the world Paul Rubinson Imagining Mars; imagining nuclear war Although rigorously trained in the rules of the scientific method, the astronomer Carl Sagan frequently relied on his imagination. At times, in fact, he could only use his imagination, since his proclaimed field of exobiology consisted of the study of life in outer space – something not yet proven to exist. Sagan’s imagination was especially active when it came to Mars; at one point he even pondered whether the moons of Mars were

in Understanding the imaginary war
Nuclear danger in Soviet Cold War culture
Miriam Dobson

v 3 v Building peace, fearing the apocalypse? Nuclear danger in Soviet Cold War culture Miriam Dobson There was no Soviet equivalent of On the Beach; no Russian Bill Haley hoping he would be the only man left with ‘Thirteen Women’ when the H-bomb went off. Before the Gorbachev era, few Soviet writers and film directors portrayed human civilisation on the brink of self-destruction, as in Nevil Shute’s novel, or tried to conjure up a post-apocalyptic world. In the USSR, the first film to depict nuclear holocaust was Konstantin Lopushanskii’s 1986 The Letters of

in Understanding the imaginary war
Daniel Gerster

v 9 v Catholic anti-communism, the bomb and perceptions of apocalypse in West Germany and the USA, 1945–90 Daniel Gerster Christian religion and war have shared a common history for centuries. There is, in fact, a long and entangled Christian discourse on ‘war’, even though Christianity has repeatedly emphasised the founding myth of it being purely a ‘peace religion’.1 Yet, since the late third century at the latest, such self-perception has conflicted with different Christian concepts that justified war and thus made it conceivable. Most influential in this

in Understanding the imaginary war
Culture, thought and nuclear conflict, 1945–90

This volume takes the metaphorical character of the Cold War seriously and charts how the bomb was used as a symbol for nuclear war at the very heart of this conflict. The contributions consider the historical relevance of the political, cultural and artistic ramifications of nuclear weapons as signifiers for a new type of conflict. Tis understanding of the metaphorical qualities of the Cold War is encapsulated in the notion of an imaginary war, or, more precisely, a war against the imagination. As an attack against the imagination, the nuclear threat forced politicians and ordinary people to accept the notion that preparations for nuclear annihilation would contribute towards peace, and that the existence of these weapons, and the anticipation of large-scale destruction that came with them, were an inescapable corollary of security, freedom and future prosperity on both sides of the Cold war divide.

Abstract only
Malcolm Chase

’s banking crisis as a further sign of the apocalypse to come, one early Rockite ballad predicted ‘Notes will be of nothing in the year 25’.43 But for the moment Ireland was free from fever, it was free from want and it was also free from excitement about Queen Caroline. Grant knew of only one demonstration, in Belfast, and ‘a miserable effort’ it was too.44 Queen, Queen Caroline Few English demonstrations supporting Caroline could have been described as miserable efforts, though once she had settled in London they were largely confined to the capital during the initial

in 1820
Shaping the future in the Cold War
Eva Horn

, the atomic bomb represented both an imminent future and the potential loss of all future. It represented the end of the world as being technically feasible, as a human option. In 1958, the German philosopher Karl Jaspers summarised the categories of this apocalyptic scenario: Today, the atomic bomb is more threatening to the future of mankind than anything else. Up to this point, irreal conceptions of an apocalypse existed … Yet right now we are facing the real possibility of an end of the world. Not any longer a fictitious apocalypse, actually not an apocalypse at

in Understanding the imaginary war
Abstract only
John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

primitive churches are light or heavy. And I say to you: the ‘seven churches of Asia’ [Apocalypse 1.4 and 11] were distinct and marked off from each other, and none of them did anything to the contradiction of another. And the church of Romania [= Constantinople] and of Drogometia [= Dragovitsa] and of Melenguia and of Bulgaria and of Dalmatia are divided and marked off, and one of them does not do anything to the contradiction of another, and thus they have peace among themselves. 22 “Do you also in like manner” [Luke

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300
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Günther Anders and the history of anti-nuclear critique
Jason Dawsey

wanted to be humans again’.18 Anders wondered if a suitable replacement could be found for Faust and whether the legend of the ill-prepared ‘sorcerer’s apprentice’ might epitomise better the condition of modern humanity.19 In 1956, Anders offered his readers a much lengthier and more imposing essay, ‘On the Bomb and the Roots of our Blindness to Apocalypse’. The closing piece in the first volume of his radical critique of technology, The Obsolescence of Human Beings, the ninety-page essay was one of the first systematic philosophical analyses of the nuclear menace. It

in Understanding the imaginary war
Lionel Laborie

been chosen by Christ himself to announce his return.11 Jesus allegedly appeared to Barbara Cadell in London in 1694.12 The Revd John Mason had the same vision in Water-Stratford; he believed the Millennium was to begin the same year and that he would live for another thousand years, while his two disciples, Thomas Ward and Valentine Evans, claimed to be the two witnesses of the Apocalypse (Revelation 11:3).13 Similarly, the Independent minister Thomas Beverley predicted the Second Coming for 1697, which the Origenist Thomas Moor(e) claimed to fulfil as the new

in Enlightening enthusiasm
Arlette Jouanna

183 L’air demande à les étouffer, La terre à les reduire en cendre Le feu à les ardre [brûler] en enfer. [The air demands that they be smothered Earth that they be turned to ash Fire that they burn in hell.]7 What is surprising is the similarity between the borrowings from the Bible made by the authors of these diatribes and those which are characteristic of normal Protestant rhetoric: quotations from the Psalms; comparisons of the enemy church to the ‘great prostitute’ of the Apocalypse or to the ‘house of Babylon’; and evocations of the history of the Jews. The

in The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre