Living in the future - proleptic existence in religion, politics and art
Paulíček, Igor (Translator)
Source document: Studia philosophica. 2012, vol. 59, iss. 1, pp. -70
ISSN1803-7445 (print)2336-453X (online)
License: Not specified license
The essay introduces the concept of "proleptic existence" which denotes a psychological disposition determined by the anticipation (prolepsis) of the future. The first historical evidence for this type is found in the apocalyptic literature of the Greco-Roman period. As these texts clearly show, the proleptic expectation of a future transformation of the world results from a complete alienation from political reality. Consequently, proleptic existence becomes articulate in visionary accounts of a coming order, which predicts the reconciliation of individual consciousness and social order. The essay presents examples from ancient apocalypticism, early Christianity, medieval monasticism, and modern art in order to show how proleptic existence becomes a formative feature of Western society.