Synopses & Reviews
From the time of the earliest tribal religions, high priests, self-proclaimed prophets, and purveyors of doom have been predicting the end of time.
This encyclopedic survey of endtime predictions looks at the history of these prophets and the religious sects that forecast the exact dates that civilization would take its final bow. Author James R. Lewis eloquently remarks that all of these doomsday fear- mongers have one thing in common: they have all been wrong.
As the year 2000 ushers in a new millennium, widespread interest in the end of the world, judgment day, and the "return" of a "savior," as predicted by many old and new groups, has spread like wildfire across the planet. Encompassing the truly bizarre, the suicidal, the homicidal, and the almost believable, Doomsday Prophecies touches on apocalyptic strains in each religion, revealing that endtime predictions reach all the way back to Old Testament writings. They have thrived for centuries, and today they find new life with New Age religions and televangelists.
Included are "prophecies" from the Hindu scriptures, the Ghost Dance, Iroquois tradition, the Shawnee prophet, the Turner Diaries, Aum Shinrikyo, the Branch Davidians, the Children of God, Rael, Dorothy Martin, Edgar Cayce, Marshall Applewhite, the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, and more.
Lewis includes everything, from the longtime belief in a final battle between good and evil to the space-age belief that heaven's gate can be reached through travel with alien beings. Sometimes humorous, often tragic, this enduring book examines the questions raised by the mass appeal of prophetic movements as a theme in popular culture.
Lewis, publisher and editor of the only scholarly journal on nontraditional religions, examines apocalyptic strains in various religions, both mainstream and nontraditional. He looks at prophecies from Hindu scriptures, Native American traditions, AUM Shinrikyo, the Branch Davidians, the Children of God, and the Heaven's Gate group. He discusses questions raised by mass appeal of prophetic movements as a theme in popular culture.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-265) and index.
About the Author
James R. Lewis (Goleta, CA) is a world-recognized authority on nontraditional religions who has appeared on a number of programs including Meet the Press. He is professor and chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the World University of America, and the author or editor of several books, including The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions.