Apocalypse Now?

December 05, 2012

From the Harvard Gazette:

Goodbye, cruel world.

With a mere 22 days left in the Mayan calendar—pinpointing our worldly demise on December 21—we should all be getting things straight in our own lives, cautions David Carrasco. He is, of course, being tongue-in-cheek.

In Carrasco’s Wednesday night lecture at the Peabody Museum titled “Apocalypse Soon? How the World Ends (or Doesn’t) in Religions of the World,” the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America discussed the historical origins of humankind’s periodic preoccupations with the apocalypse.

Culling from Mesoamerican cosmology, the Bible’s Book of Revelation, and the notion of mappo—a cosmic cycle in Buddhism that forewarns of the decline of Buddha’s teachings and social unrest—Carrasco said that “concerns and fears of the end of the time, or apocalypse, have for some time been a widespread, ever-present concern among human beings, and not only in the Western world.”

Read the full article, “Apocalypse now? Hardly” by Sarah Sweeney (Harvard Gazette, November 29, 2012).

Carrasco teaches Moctezuma’s Mexico: Then and Now at the Extension School.