The "End Times" Phenomenon and Eschatology Myths

ALTUN I., Cinaroglu M.

MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.2020, no.128, pp.28-40, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2020 Issue: 128
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.28-40
  • Keywords: Mythology, myth, eschatology, eschatological, end times, flood
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


Every nation has a mythological world, and the mythological worlds of human societies, although they have lived in many different geographies, have a great deal of extraordinary similarities to each other, surprising even the mythologists. Though they take different forms in different societies and eras, myths are, in fact, the products of a common culture of humanity. The most important feature distinguishing a myth from other narratives is its sacred nature. Myths have undoubtedly emerged as sacred narratives, and these narratives are regarded as sacred scriptures by masses who believe in them. Since myths are part of "the sacred" and sacred narratives, their path intersects with that of eschatology. "Eschatology" is the teaching of the last things, or more accurately, the events with which our known world is expected to end. It is the teaching of the end of the world and its collapse. In this respect, it stands at a mid-point between theology and mythology. The concept of the end of history is both a theological phenomenon and a mythological expectation. Eschatology tells us that the universe and in particular our civilization is approaching an end as it preaches that time must be terminated because it is in a forward flow. This is not just a mythological or theological assumption. Many scientific disciplines, from economics to geography, from geopolitics to astrophysics, support and reinforce the predictions of eschatology. The forms of beliefs about how time will come to an end have an important place for religions and mythologies in history. Eschatological beliefs are of great importance and they have influence in other beliefs in almost all of the civilizations of the world, past and present. At the core of these beliefs, no matter what society or time period it is, lies the expectation that a world that is more fair and happier than this world is awaiting humans. People with eschatological hopes are expecting the time to return in favor of God and be under the control of God. Eschatological beliefs promise a catastrophe and a chain of disasters, while at the same time promising what is "good" for man. A world free from the polluted one, and a fairer, more prosperous golden age will emerge from the ever worsening times. This is the existence of the absolute good in the evil, and by the victory of the absolute good, the evil will be defeated and destroyed. In order for the idea of the 'End' to take place, there must be an illegitimate epoch to be spared. The time for moral transformation is the very time that is to come after the time has worsened and a need for a good, moral and prosperous life is arisen. Thus, evil will definitely be defeated, and eschatological promise will be achieved. In this study, what is eschatology, its relationship with mythology and major eschatological myths are emphasized. An eschatological phenomenon in Turkish mythology has been tried to be examined from the narrative of the flood which is one of the eschatological phenomenon in Turkish mythology.