Reenchantment of Eschatology: Religious Secular Apocalypse in Akira Kurosawa

  • Author(s): Justin Heinzekehr
  • When: 2012-10
  • Where: Source
  • The possibility of nuclear destruction in the modern world has created a secular eschatology which, unlike religious eschatologies, creates nihilism and apathy rather than ultimate meaning. The Japanese film Dreams, by Akira Kurosawa, depicts this secularized eschatology as well as a counter-apocalyptic utopia. However, Kurosawa does not merely repeat the Western visions of nuclear apocalypse, but uses Japanese folk religion as a lens through which this apocalypse can be viewed. By doing so, Kurosawa creates a specifically Eastern response to nuclear destruction: a “religious secular” eschatology. Despite its lack of critical success, Dreams provides a valuable alternative for Western theologians in a nuclear age

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