Darshan: The End of the World and Modern Pessimism

Photo by Tom Godber
I've been studying this morning about optimism and it has led me to reflecting upon our present day fascination with apocalyptic themes in our films and TV shows.  A quick glance at the following Wikipedia list shows that we've produced more more apocalyptic films since 2010 than during the entire decade of either the 80s or 90s. And this isn't even considering TV shows like Revolution or Walking Dead.  What's going on? Does it matter?

List of apocalyptic films - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

My gut tells me that it matters at least somewhat and maybe it matters a lot.  For example, does this suggest that for all of our renewed awareness and interest in "engaging" issues such as human trafficking, world evangelism, climate change, poverty and hunger, HIV/AIDS, global terrorism, immigration justice, racism, and more that we are actually engaging in a rather pessimistic and hopeless way?  Do we engage as those who wish to do something good but who do not actually believe that good can reign?

With Nelson Mandela perhaps nearing the end of his life, I remember growing up in the 80s and being told in school and even by TV sitcoms that the racial walls of Apartheid could be defeated.  I remember watching President Reagan calling for Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall"! And I remember watching people climb all over the Berlin Wall soon thereafter with sledge hammers tearing that thing down.

We see walls all over the place today.  And we raise awareness.

We see intimidating walls rising up around the world.  And we call people to become engaged.

But do we no longer believe that they can actually be torn down?

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