Waiting for Antichrist: Charisma and Apocalypse in a Pentecostal Church

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$72.22
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $9.00   
  • New (5) from $11.48   
  • Used (4) from $9.00   

Overview

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 they profess allegiance to millennial doctrine, he discovers, members actually assign a low priority to the "End Times." The history of millenarianism is littered with disappointment, Thompson notes, and the lesson has largely been learned: "predictive" millenarianism—with its risky time-specific predictions of the end—has been substantially supplanted by "explanatory" millenarianism, which uses apocalyptic narratives to explain features of the contemporary world. Most apocalyptic believers, he finds, are comfortable with these lower-cost explanatory narratives that do not require them to sell their houses and head for the hills. He does uncover a handful of "textbook" millenarians in the congregation—people who are confident that Jesus will return in their lifetimes. He concludes that their atypical beliefs were influenced by their conversion experiences, individual psychology, and degree of subcultural immersion. Although much has 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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"He brings the skills of a journalist and the tools of an academic to the field of charisma and apocalypse and, in so doing, has presented us with a valuable and fascinating book about what is probably the largest Pentacostal Church in British Isles and, possibly, in Europe, Kensington Temple. ...a book that rings true and which, in a profoundly non-judgemental way, shows us human beings with all their contradictions and hopes." —The Journal of the Society for Pentacostal Studies
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195178562
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 The problem of the end 13
3 Pentecostalism and the end times 39
4 Kensington Temple 61
5 Living with the end 83
6 Millenarians 117
7 The year 2000 143
8 Conclusions 167
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)