On the apocalyptic sublime

Joshua Gunn, David E Beard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In this essay we argue that an eschatological discourse we term the “apocalyptic sublime” has emerged, as the postmodern alternative to traditional apocalyptic rhetoric. Drawing on the work of Frank Kermode and Jean Baudrillard, the essay isolates two key features of the apocalyptic sublime as (a) a reliance on non‐linear temporality and (b) a kind of destabilized subjectivity characteristic of that described in the sublime theories of Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant. The apocalyptic sublime is then used to explain the rhetorical dimensions of the project for a Critical Rhetoric begun by Raymie McKerrow in the late 1980s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-286
Number of pages18
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'On the apocalyptic sublime'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this