TeacherServe Essays

Apocalypticism in American Culture

Author: Balmer, Randall

Americans have long evinced a fascination with the end of time and the role that they would play in such an apocalypse. More often, apocalyptic ideas have issued in the expectation that human history might screech to a halt at any moment and dissolve into some kind of apocalyptic judgment. Protestant Christians have been especially susceptible to these schemes, especially the more conservative Protestants known as evangelicals, because of their inclination to read the Bible literally. They have tended to focus on the New Testament book of Revelation as well as the book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible. Both texts are replete with imagery and allegory that would strike most casual readers as downright bizarre, but many Christians throughout American history have expended untold energies trying to fit these writings into an interpretive framework for understanding the end of time.

Read More
Subjects
History / Education Studies / American History / Christianity / Apocalypse / Evangelicalism /