THE LAST MINUTES OF OUR EARTH (Meie maakera viimased minutid)
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The article seeks to compare popular omens of the end of the world with the auguries of prophets. Both traditions reflect societal and cultural changes, the fears for doomsday tend to integrate new interpretations and causes for destruction. Astronomic celestial phenomena retain their relevance whereas the recent discoveries in astronomy, physics, genetics and other sciences have remarkably complemented the list omens for the end of the world. Latter-day prophecies leashed by human behaviour and intellect, alien civilisations and other relevant motifs have come to the forefront during the last century. Prophetic predictions propose fixed dates, represent certain political or ideological trends, associated with social norms and evoked as a result of changes therein. Among the prophetic messages there are stereotypical expressions and omens which have been adapted and attributed to different persons. Karl Tonisson's leaflet Meie maakera viimased minutid 'The Last Minutes of Our Earth', printed in 1907, is a political-apocalyptic contemplation based on scriptural passages substantiated by references to scholarly works, illustrated with five woodcuts. The omens of the end of the world, listed by the author, comprise an earthquake in Lisbon in 1795, a dark day in New England in 1780 and the 1833 meteor storm in America. The discussions presented in the leaflet differ from Tonisson's later self-centred political fantasies on Pan-Baltonia, and the ideology and rhetoric of the booklets endeavouring to create a native religion merged with Buddhism.
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