Waiting for Antichrist

Waiting for Antichrist : Charisma and Apocalypse in a Pentecostal Church

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How can people believe that the supernatural end of the world lies just around the corner when, so far, every such prediction has been proved wrong? Some scholars argue that millenarians are psychologically disturbed; others maintain that their dreams of paradise on earth reflect a nascent political awareness. In this book Damian Thompson looks at the members of one religious group with a strong apocalyptic tradition - Kensington Temple, a large Pentecostal church in London - and attempts to understand how they reconcile doctrines of the end of the world with the demands of their everyday lives. He asks such questions as: Who is making the argument that the world is about to end, and on whose authority? How is it communicated? Which members are persuaded by it? What are the practical consequences for them? How do they rationalize their position? Based on extensive interviews as well as a survey of almost 3000 members, Thompson finds existing explanations of apocalyptic belief inadequate. Although much as been written about apocalyptic belief, Thompson's empirically-based study is unprecedented. It constitutes an important step forward in our understanding of this puzzling feature of contemporary religious life.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 147.3 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 453.6g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 5 tables
  • 0195178564
  • 9780195178562

Review quote

...a crisp and very readable study. * David Martin, Times Literary Supplement *show more

About Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson read modern history at Oxford University and received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He is the author of The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium. He is currently a leader writer for the Daily Telegraph and editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald.show more

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