Special Issue "Apocalypticism in the 21st Century"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 January 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Robert M. Royalty, Jr.
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, Wabash College, 301 W. Wabash Ave., PO Box 352, Crawfordsville, IN 46077, USA
Interests: Apocalypticism; Early Christianity; Early Roman Empire

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 21st century is almost 20 years old. We are long past Y2K and somehow survived both Harold Camping’s predictions for May 2011 and the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012. But the steady drumbeat of climate change continues to sound underneath the ever-louder clanging of right-wing political denials of global warming. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight in January 2018. Evangelical Christians embrace the current U.S. administration as part of God’s plan and look to the End Times. Whither apocalypticism? And where will apocalyptic studies go next? This special issue will collect essays by emerging and established experts in apocalyptic studies, broadly conceived, asking and answering these questions. We are looking for new methodological and theoretical inquiries, transnational and other comparative studies, and research on fresh or ignored areas within apocalyptic studies. In addition to more established methods such as cultural, ethical, feminist, literary, social and theological approaches, we seek studies employing newer and less represented methods such as disabilities studies, ecological and environmental criticism, and queer and transgender studies. And we seek articles that broaden the range of apocalyptic studies, both temporally and geographically. New and junior scholars are strongly urged to submit papers.

Please share this call for papers and I look forward to reading your submissions.

Prof. Dr. Robert M. Royalty, Jr.
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Apocalyptic
  • apocalypticism
  • millenarianism
  • eschatology
  • biblical studies
  • evangelical Christianity
  • comparative religion
  • religion and politics
  • gender studies
  • post-colonial studies
  • ecological criticism

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Moderate Millenarianism: Apocalypticism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Religions 2019, 10(5), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10050339 - 25 May 2019
Abstract
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the largest and arguably best-known branch of the Restoration movement begun by Joseph Smith, sustains a complex but living relationship to nineteenth-century marginal millenarianism and apocalypticism. At the foundations of this relationship is a consistent [...] Read more.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the largest and arguably best-known branch of the Restoration movement begun by Joseph Smith, sustains a complex but living relationship to nineteenth-century marginal millenarianism and apocalypticism. At the foundations of this relationship is a consistent interest in the biblical Book of Revelation exhibited in the earliest Latter-Day Saint scriptural texts. The Book of Mormon (1830) affirms that apocalyptic visionary experiences like John’s in the New Testament have occurred throughout history and even contains a truncated account of such a vision. It also predicts the emergence in late modernity of a fuller and uncorrupted account of such an apocalyptic vision, with the aim of clarifying the biblical Book of Revelation. In addition, however, Smith received an apocalyptic vision of his own in 1832 and produced a vision report that suggests that he understood The Book of Mormon’s anticipations of apocalyptic clarification to come as much through ecstatic experience as through the emergence of new apocalyptic texts. In 1842, Smith created a ritualized version of his own apocalyptic experience, a temple liturgy that remains authoritative into the present. This lies behind the moderate apocalypticism of twenty-first century Latter-Day Saint religious experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apocalypticism in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle
The Cognitive Phenomenology of Doors in the Book of Revelation: A Spatial Analysis
Religions 2019, 10(3), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030194 - 14 Mar 2019
Abstract
Following Rowland’s and Foucault’s respective observations that apocalypses are not necessarily temporal, and that historical analyses have diverted attention unduly from spatial phenomena, this paper examines Revelation using a spatial hermeneutic, comparing it to the semi-contemporaneous Parables of Enoch. Analyzing ostensibly similar [...] Read more.
Following Rowland’s and Foucault’s respective observations that apocalypses are not necessarily temporal, and that historical analyses have diverted attention unduly from spatial phenomena, this paper examines Revelation using a spatial hermeneutic, comparing it to the semi-contemporaneous Parables of Enoch. Analyzing ostensibly similar spaces that are presented divergently, the paper focuses particular attention on “doorway” phenomena in Revelation. Recent research in cognitive psychology by Radvansky et al. suggests that passing through a doorway has a measurable cognitive effect, inducing forgetfulness of prior thoughts. Revelation employs doorway and gateway language repeatedly, while Parables of Enoch does not. The respective spatial emphases of Revelation and Parables suggest diverging engagements with a traumatized material world. References in Parables of Enoch to oppressive landowners and transformative goals for the earth suggest a continuing critical engagement with the material world. The lack of comparable language in Revelation suggests a comparatively more escapist perspective. Revelation combines polemic against all the “inhabitants of the earth”, an emphasis on the replacement of the old order, and the use of compensatory cultic language to orient the reader away from the existing material world. The parallel narrative employment of doorway language suggests an operative governing psychology of separation and forgetfulness in Revelation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apocalypticism in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle
Reception of Revelation in Darksiders: The Case of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Religions 2019, 10(3), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030164 - 06 Mar 2019
Abstract
This paper explores how the series Darksiders appropriates the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and elaborates on them. It reflects on how this reception affects our understanding of the four horsemen and of apocalyptic literature broadly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apocalypticism in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle
The End of Islands: Drawing Insight from Revelation to Respond to Prisoner Radicalization and Apocalyptically-Oriented Terrorism
Religions 2019, 10(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020073 - 23 Jan 2019
Abstract
This paper is an exploratory exercise in practical theology and interfaith engagement that probes the conceptual frameworks of insularity (Islandness) and incarceration in Revelation in order to address the related problems of prisoner radicalization and apocalyptically-oriented terrorism. It offers an experimental reading of [...] Read more.
This paper is an exploratory exercise in practical theology and interfaith engagement that probes the conceptual frameworks of insularity (Islandness) and incarceration in Revelation in order to address the related problems of prisoner radicalization and apocalyptically-oriented terrorism. It offers an experimental reading of Revelation performed through the lenses of island studies, criminology, and research on prisoner radicalization. While inmates may adopt a range of religious dispositions, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in U.S. prisons. Moreover, even though Islam is not inherently violent nor are Muslims more predisposed to radical behaviors than other religious groups, some forms of prison Islam promote brutal apocalyptic worldviews and incite adherents to violence. This paper examines the place Revelation maintains in Islamic apocalyptic thought and asks how Revelation can assist in the fight against radicalization among an increasingly Muslim inmate population. Islands, prisons, and prisoners share a robust set of real and metaphorical relationships. The islanded nature of John’s experience provides a valuable point of access for incarcerated readers who find themselves in similarly marginalized social locations where radical readings are more likely to occur. Reading the insular and carceral elements of Revelation in tandem with these bodies of research is instructive for cultivating constructive responses to the present set of problems. It is argued that while Revelation can be a potential source of violent ideologies, it also offers its own internal checks against violent enactments. John’s vision culminates in the end of islands (Rev 21:1). The overarching goal of this essay is to ask how we might point readers in physically and ideologically insular environments toward constructive interpretations of apocalyptica in order to stem the persistent problem of violent radicalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apocalypticism in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle
Brexit, Babylon and Prophecy: Semiotics of the End Times
Religions 2018, 9(12), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120396 - 03 Dec 2018
Abstract
This article examines the predilection some Christian premillennialist preachers and teachers have with the semiotic association of geopolitics and biblical prophecy concerning the end times. This was epitomised in the run up to the United Kingdom’s referendum on continued membership of the European [...] Read more.
This article examines the predilection some Christian premillennialist preachers and teachers have with the semiotic association of geopolitics and biblical prophecy concerning the end times. This was epitomised in the run up to the United Kingdom’s referendum on continued membership of the European Union in June 2016. Since its inception, many premillennialists have interpreted the European Union as the place where the Antichrist emerges. Material objects associated with the European Union such as architecture, sculptures, currency and even posters, have been routinely highlighted as providing clear signs of the coming eschaton. Prophetic links between the European Union and satanic agencies, purported to be behind the ambition for an expanding European confederacy, ensured that many premillennialists voted to leave the European Union or were advised to do so in light of such prophetic signifiers. Utilising Webb Keane’s notion of representational economies, I argue that a premillennialist representational economy drives the search for signs in the everyday, and specifically those associated with the European Union. In this case, such semiotic promiscuity ratified the need to leave the European Union. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apocalypticism in the 21st Century)
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