Eschatology: The science of the Last Things

The subject embraces personal death, the goal of history, the end of the world and the fate of the universe.

The subject embraces personal death, the goal of history, the end of the world and the fate of the universe.

 
 

I have done a comparative study of the end of the world, rather along the lines of "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." You can find information about it here:

The Perennial Apocalypse
How the End of the World Shapes History

 

Here are some of the shorter things I have written specifically on this subject. Just click on the underlined words to see them. Please note that many of the pieces which appear elsewhere on my website, particularly under "History" and "Science," also bear on eschatology.

 

2012

Politics & Apocalypse
[The Girardians explain why a non-violent God is consistent with an Endtime conflagration.]

Institute of Impure Science
[This is fan fiction, with R.A. Lafferty the model.]

 

2011

Heaven on Earth
[Richard Landes explains the varieties of millennial experience.]

2009

The Forge of Christendom
[Tom Holland describes "the end of days and the epic rise of the West" around the year 1000.]

2008

Eschatology
[Joseph Ratzinger (later Benedict XVI) on Death, Eternal Life, and the End of the World.]

No Updates for 2007

 

2006

We All Fall Down
[Brian Caldwell gives an existentialist spin to the Endtime novel.]

War in Heave/Heaven on Earth
[Millennial Studies today; edited by Glen McGhee and Stephen O'Leary.]

 

2005

An Angel Directs the Storm
[Michael Northcott's singularly tendentious account of apocalyptic religion and American empire.]

 

2004

The Plot Against America
[Philip Roth's apocalyptic account of a counterfactual Lindbergh Administration.]

Irish Recollections 
[Victorian evangelist Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna unmasks popery and reveals the prophetic significance of the Battle of Navarino.]

The System of Antichrist 
["Truth & Falsehood in Postmodernism & the New Age," by Charles Upton]

 

2002

A Culture of Conspiracy 
[Michael Barkun reveals the Creeping Chaos of stigmatized knowledge.]

The Perfection of the West [Amazon affiliate link]
[Another of my anthologies, the book promotes a solt millennialism, with Spengler doing duty for Isaiah.]

After the Third Age: Eschatological Elements of Postwar International Fascism 
[This paper was delivered to the Seventh Annual Conference of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, November 2-4, 2002.]

Revolt Against the Modern World 
[Baron Julius Evola deals, in part, with the occult apocalypse.]

At the End of an Age 
[John Lukacs explains the end of the Modern Age, and maybe the of the world.]

 

2001

The World After Modernity 
[This paper was delivered under the title "Spengler's Future" at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Center for Millennial Studies in November, 2001.]

The Last Pope: The Decline and Fall of the Church of Rome [This book by John Hogue is mostly an anti-Catholic rant, but it does have some useful information on the Papal Prophecies of St. Malachy.]

Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs through the Ages
[This book by Eugen Weber makes an excellent introduction to the subject.]

Arguing the Apocalypse 
[Stephen D. O'Leary's theory of millennial rhetoric.]

Archetype of the Apocalypse 
[A Jungian Study of the Book of Revelation. It had to happen.]

 

2000

Soft Landings: 'Generations,' Tolkien & Preterism 
[This is a paper I presented at the Center for Millennial Studies in October 2000. It illustrates how eschatology need not mean the end of the world.]

Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation 
[Neil Howe and William Strauss's latest development of their cyclical model of American history.]

Apocalypse & Future 
["Notes on the Cultural History of the 21st Century" is the subtitle. This is my own anthology of items from this site. It is available in both hardcopy and pdf versions.]

Name the Present, Name the Future
(My contribution to the First Things symposium of January, 2000: "What Can We Reasonably Expect?")

 

1999

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny 
(Robert Wright provides an evolutionary ideology for globalization.)

Beyond the End Times
(This book sets out the preterist view of Christian eschatology. Maybe the Second Coming occurred in AD 70.)

A Doomsday Reader
(This anthology by the folklorist Ted Daniels has some particularly useful insights about the major "killer cults.")

Ecumenical Twilight 
(This short story deals with vampires, Oswald Spengler and spelling reform. Watch out.)

Why We Need a Philosophy of History
(A comment on Francis Fukuyama's essay, "Second Thoughts.")

Theonomy, Globalism & Babylon 
(A millenarian reaction to proposals for American hegemony.)

The End of the World 
(A review of John Leslie's exposition of the famous Carter-Leslie Doomsday Argument. The subtitle of this book is "The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction." )

Eclipse of the Sun 
(A review of Michael O'Brien's apocalyptic novel. The key to this kind of fiction, I suggest, can be found in Stephen Carter's "The Dissent of the Governed.")

The Dark Imperium
(Satanic Eschatology on the Internet.)

The Turner Diaries 
(This book is, with some reason, said to be one of the key texts among racist terrorist groups in the United States. It also exhibits many common apocalyptic themes. Readers are cautioned that the analysis is not pleasant.)

 

1997

Son of Rosemary
(Rosemary's baby is all grown up. Just you wait.)

Far Futures 
(A review of five eschatological novellas by five hard-science fiction writers. Frank Tipler's ideas are well represented.)

Tribulation Force 
(A review of the second book in the "Left Behind" series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Much solid advice for young Christian singles.)

The Fate of Noospheres. 
(This is my own apocalypse. It should be interesting to anyone concerned with Teilhard de Chardin or the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (not an obvious combination)

Ecstasy Club 
(A review of Douglas Rushkoff's novel about the rave at the end of the world.)

The Apocalypse Kit 
(Here I give every precedent I can think of for the mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult, but still fail to explain it.)

Omens of Millennium
(A review of Harold Bloom's tract for that old time Gnosis.)

Lathspell 
(This is a critique of James Alison's book, Raising Abel: The Recovery of the Eschatological Imagination, and of the philosophy of Rene Girard.)

The Coming Age of Cathedrals
(How millennial fever can contribute to a sense of historical optimism: an essay in applied eschatology.)

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy 
(William Strauss and Neil Howe strike again with the forecast of a Tribulation even an agnostic could love.)

God's Chinese Son 
(This history by Jonathan Spence of the T'ai P'ing Rebellion is a rare delight.)

 

1996

The Millennium and the Roman Catholic Church 
(An overview of Roman Catholic theology regarding the end of history and that theology's relationship to popular endtime beliefs.)

Religion and the Racist Right 
(This is a book review of Michael Barkun's study of the Christian Identity Movement.)

The End of the Age 
(This is a book review of Pat Robertson's millenarian novel.)

Links

Websites concerning the apocalypse have proliferated. If you are looking for intelligent sources of information regarding contemporary millenarian activity, you should click on to the following lines:

The Center for Millennial Studies

I am a member of this organization. It is the chief academic venue for the study of apocalyptic subjects, both in terms of history and of contemporary public policy.

The Millennial Prophecy Report

The site is maintained by Dr. Ted Daniels, another member of the Center for Millennial Studies. His site is particularly good for information about New Age ideologies and dangerous cults.

Let's Talk 2000

Jay Gary is a major presence on the Internet when it comes to millennial fever. This site, and his listserve, provide timely and interesting coverage of millennial celebrations, scholarly research and just plain strange stuff.

Marian Apparitions and Catholic Apocalypticism

There is a great deal of popular Catholic apocalyptic activity, though it is less well reported than its protestant evangelical analogue. This site by the scholar David van Meter provides a running account of what is happening in this subculture, plus a notable bibliography.

Rapture Ready

This site, maintained by Todd Strandberg, is by far my favorite pretribulation rapture site. In addition to a prose review of the news from a pretrib perspective, the site also boasts a numerical analysis of current events called the Rapture Index.

Armchair Armageddon

Who says the end of the world is no fun? Go to this site for the apocalypse in literature and cinema.