The Creation and End of the World
Spring 2001
Final Take-home exam
Respond to the following essay question. Be succinct -- information is much more important than volume. This is due by the end of the scheduled final for this class. If you are a senior, it is due by e-mail before I get up Tuesday morning.

Note: I apologize for this taking so long to get up. I just forgot about it until one of you asked where it was (I won't say who in order to preserve him from harm). Seniors, note the due time is a day later than I said in class. If this is still a problem, contact me.

You are free to use whatever resources you wish in preparing this essay, including each other, but, of course, the final result must be your own.

The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will come to pass." Jesus said, "Then have you laid bare the beginning, so that you are seeking the end? For the end will be where the beginning is. Blessed is the person who stands at rest in the beginning. And that person will be acquainted with the end and will not taste death."
   --Gospel of Thomas Logion 18 tr. Bently Layton

Although it is not entirely clear what Jesus is saying here, it can be interpreted as a guideline to understanding certain aspects of Apocalyptic literature, and sometimes creation literature as well. Have a look at Revelation 22.1-5. Discuss the relationship between creation and destruction in any of the literature we have looked at (you do not need to limit yourself to Judeo-Christian literature). What does the eschatological new world have in common with the primeval world? Does creation contain in it the seeds of destruction?