Apocalypse and Climate Change: Impact of Religious Vocabularies in the Netherlands

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Apocalyptic images of impending doom often dominate the news about climate change. Such images inform the way in which a pressing issue is perceived and experienced. This project aims to map and analyse apocalyptic and other religious vocabularies that appear in the context of present-day climate change discourse in the Netherlands. More concretely, the presence of such vocabularies is researched within groups that are active on social media and share a common interest in climate change. Our research will systematically investigate the use of these vocabularies on social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Facebook, You Tube and where relevant in films, tv/internet series, and digital games. Because these groups foster connections abroad, our research will also investigate similarities and differences on an international scale. The innovative character of the project lies in the actual relevance of the topic, the interdisciplinary composition of the research team, and its approach of climate change discourse, by systematically investigating its ideological and religious motivations. Methodologically, the project will rely primarily on Critical Discourse Analysis/Studies to combine the study of discourse, agency, and context. With this discursive analysis of religious vocabularies in the context of climate change discourse the research fills a gap in current research. Our project will also benefit media, politicians, civil servants, and public opinion, including religious, leaders, in that a broader understanding of the religious rhyme and reason behind both climate sceptics and enthusiasts will enable them to evaluate their own standpoint and communication actively and critically with these groups.

    Layman's description

    This project focuses on present-day religious vocabularies that have become part of our western cultural and scientific reservoir and are used in the context of climate change. It aims to analyse how these vocabularies affect their user’s interpretations and attitudes. The presence of such vocabularies is researched within groups that are active on social media in The Netherlands and share a common interest in climate change. Its central question is: How do religious vocabularies impact climate change discourse, understood as the way in which climate change is presented, interpreted, and discussed across modern audio-visual media in the Netherlands?
    Short titleApocalypse and Climate Change
    Effective start/end date1/03/231/03/26


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