The End of the World As We Know It: Faith, Fatalism, and Apocalypse in America

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9780814793480: The End of the World As We Know It: Faith, Fatalism, and Apocalypse in America

From religious tomes to current folk prophesies, recorded history reveals a plethora of narratives predicting or showcasing the end of the world. The incident at Waco, the subway bombing by the Japanese cult Aum Supreme Truth, and the tragedy at Jonestown are just a few examples of such apocalyptic scenarios. And these are not isolated incidents; millions of Americans today believe the end of the world is inevitable, either by a divinely ordained plan, nuclear catastrophe, extraterrestrial invasion, or gradual environmental decay,

Examining the doomsday scenarios and apocalyptic predictions of visionaries, televangelists, survivalists, and various other endtimes enthusiasts, as well as popular culture, film, music, fashion, and humor, Daniel Wojcik sheds new light on America's fascination with worldly destruction and transformation. He explores the origins of contemporary apocalyptic beliefs and compares religious and secular apocalyptic speculation, showing us the routes our belief systems have traveled over the centuries to arrive at the dawn of a new millennium. Included in his sweeping examination are premillennial prophecy traditions, prophecies associated with visions of the Virgin Mary, secular ideas about nuclear apocalypse, the transformation of apocalyptic prophecy in the post-Cold War era, and emerging apocalyptic ideas associated with UFOs and extraterrestrials.

Timely, yet of lasting importance, The End of the World as We Know It is a comprehensive cultural and historical portrait of an age-old phenomenon and a fascinating guide to contemporary apocalyptic fever.

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Advance praise for the book:

"Well-documented yet highly readable, THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT makes accessible to both scholars and general readers the amazing panorama of millenarian scenarios abounding in America at the end of the millennium. Wojcik is particularly impressive in showing how much apocalyptic anticipations coming from seemingly very diverse directions--Protestant fundamentalism, Catholic predictions, Marian apparitions, UFO-related scenarios, nuclear or ecological doomsaying in secular discourse, and more--fit into a basic pattern with deep roots in American history and American folk religion. In so doing, he indeed demonstrates that, as has been said, "apocalyptic is as American as the hot dog," and he teaches all of us more about ourselves." -- Robert S. Ellwood, Professor of Religion, University of Southern California

"A valuable and intriguing folklorist perspective on the amazing spectacle of apocalyptic concerns in contemporary America." -- Charles B. Strozier, Professor of History, City University of New York

"A masterful reading of contemporary millennialist and nihilist phenomena such as doomsday cults, the punk movement, and supernatural apparitions. Skillfully blending folklore and popular culture, Wojcik demonstrates the way the turn of the millennium is reviving ancient traditional beliefs and creating new ones in a post-industrial, postmodern era. His work is a fine example of the application of folkloristic methods to the contemporary world. A wealth of data, and keen, grounded analysis guided by cultural theory situated in ethnographic detail, written with clarity and style--we need more books like this one." -- Jack Santino, Professor of Folklore and Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University

About the Author:

Daniel Wojcik is Associate Professor of English and Folklore at the University of Oregon and author of Punk and Neo-Tribal Body Art. He received his Ph.D. in Folklore and Mythology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Book Description New York University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 294 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.0in. x 0.7in.From religious tomes to current folk prophesies, recorded history reveals a plethora of narratives predicting or showcasing the end of the world. The incident at Waco, the subway bombing by the Japanese cult Aum Supreme Truth, and the tragedy at Jonestown are just a few examples of such apocalyptic scenarios. And these are not isolated incidents; millions of Americans today believe the end of the world is inevitable, either by a divinely ordained plan, nuclear catastrophe, extraterrestrial invasion, or gradual environmental decay, Examining the doomsday scenarios and apocalyptic predictions of visionaries, televangelists, survivalists, and various other endtimes enthusiasts, as well as popular culture, film, music, fashion, and humor, Daniel Wojcik sheds new light on Americas fascination with worldly destruction and transformation. He explores the origins of contemporary apocalyptic beliefs and compares religious and secular apocalyptic speculation, showing us the routes our belief systems have traveled over the centuries to arrive at the dawn of a new millennium. Included in his sweeping examination are premillennial prophecy traditions, prophecies associated with visions of the Virgin Mary, secular ideas about nuclear apocalypse, the transformation of apocalyptic prophecy in the post-Cold War era, and emerging apocalyptic ideas associated with UFOs and extraterrestrials. Timely, yet of lasting importance, The End of the World as We Know It is a comprehensive cultural and historical portrait of an age-old phenomenon and a fascinating guide to contemporary apocalyptic fever. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780814793480

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