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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

On-line version ISSN 2309-9070
Print version ISSN 0041-476X

Abstract

TITLESTAD, Michael. South African end times: Conceiving an apocalyptic imaginary. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2014, vol.51, n.2, pp.52-71. ISSN 2309-9070.

ABSTRACT The future of South Africa has most commonly been conceived as a prospective apocalyptic upheaval in which the nation fractures along race lines. This expectation preceded, but informed the rise of apartheid, and has accompanied its demise. This article argues that catastrophic prediction-the trope of a looming racial Armageddon-is like a worn coin: familiar currency so often spent. Nonetheless, we need to conceive how this particular political theology settled into our polity; why it has proved so adaptable (through and despite the "miraculous" transformation of 1 994); and, how its tenacity-which is politically anodyne at best and fascist at worst-might be challenged. The article conceives of a study (comprising nine essays) which sets out to analyze aspects of this history of fear, without simply taking its existence and persistence for granted.

Keywords : South African apocalypse; catastrophism; dystopia; political theology; white fear.

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