Apocalyptic Anxiety traces the sources of American culture’s obsession with predicting and preparing for the apocalypse. Author Anthony Aveni explores why Americans take millennial claims seriously, where and how end-of-the-world predictions emerge, how they develop within a broader historical framework, and what we can learn from doomsday predictions of the past.
The book begins with the Millerites, the nineteenth-century religious sect of Pastor William Miller, who used biblical calculations to predict October 22, 1844 as the date for the Second Advent of Christ. Aveni also examines several other religious and philosophical movements that have centered on apocalyptic themes—Christian millennialism, the New Age movement and the Age of Aquarius, and various other nineteenth- and early twentieth-century religious sects, concluding with a focus on the Maya mystery of 2012 and the contemporary prophets who connected the end of the world as we know it with the overturning of the Maya calendar.
Apocalyptic Anxiety places these seemingly never-ending stories of the world’s end in the context of American history. This fascinating exploration of the deep historical and cultural roots of America’s voracious appetite for apocalypse will appeal to students of American history and the histories of religion and science, as well as lay readers interested in American culture and doomsday prophecies.
Explore the ancient context of prophecy and prophetic figures
This collection of essays examines the construction of prophecy in the Former and Latter Prophets, Chronicles, Daniel, and even in the Quran. This unique anthology recognizes that these texts do not simply describe the prophetic phenomena but rather depict prophets according to various conventional categories or their own individual points of view. Each essay analyzes how these writings portray prophecy or prophets to better understand how the respective authors structured their writings.
Introduction and twelve essays cover prophecy in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran
Essays examine the relationship between the prophets and the cult, oral pronouncements and written collections, and divination, prophecy, and apocalypticism
Additional essays raise questions about the prophetic persona and examine the prophets in hermeneutical perspective
Huitzilopochtli has returned. Aztec destroyer, god of sun and war. He of the hummingbird. Son of Coatlique, Our Lady of the Serpent Skin. But you can call him H. H. is reborn in the sprawling suburbs of an American metroplex in the late twentieth century, a place where "the future is a cartoon of the future." Life in suburbia is hard for an Aztec god: H. falls in and out of love, works downtown as an oficinista, raises children, and learns to command the awesome power of modern electronic media. Then one indifferent summer's day H. is seriously wounded by the police—in a case of mistaken identity, of course—and faces death once more.
In the City of Smoking Mirrors relates H.'s adventures as he hovers between life and death, revisiting his homeland and ancestors. He issues letters and edicts—to the faithful, to his dead amigos—and chronicles his circumnavigation of the Land of the Dead and "what he saw there that made him write this book." In tantalizing verse that walks the edge of dream, Albino Carrillo takes readers on a lyrical exploration of a dark netherworld, a quest for hope in a universe overshadowed by impending doom—a place where "The demons you'll have to defeat on your inward journey / Are like so many little yellow hornets buzzing about / Window screens in summer, angry but looking / For anything sweet, any way out . . . ." Through the unforgettable persona of Huitzilopochtli, Carrillo shows us the transitory nature of our passions and wounds as he chisels a new headstone for our times.