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This book could probably only have been published in America, though it may not be as widely read there as it should be. The obsession of American fundamentalists with eschatology – beliefs about the end of the world – seems as tenacious as ever and Robert Price, a professor of scriptural studies, examines in detail these beliefs and their origins in mistaken interpretations of the New Testament.
Underneath all this is a heady psychological brew of paranoia, delusions of grandeur and persecution complex: true Christians are hated simply for being Christians, only we have seen the truth, the whole world is wrong (and we look forward to seeing you suffer when the end does finally come). In the last two decades, though, there has been less emphasis on the Second coming and more on the world as it is, as fundamentalists have abandoned their indifference to electoral politics, with the predictable malign effects on American society. There is a detailed overview of the many Apocalypse and Antichrist novels from both secular and religious publishing houses in America, including the Left Behind series by LaHaye and Jenkins.
Apocalypse is fairly scholarly in tone but with a leavening of humour, and is a useful guide to the evangelical/fundamentalist scene in America. There is a lengthy scripture index for those of you who can be bothered to argue with your local Holy Rollers the next time they come knocking on your door.