Sunday, September 16, 2012

America's fascination with the Apocalypse

“In America, everyone believes in the apocalypse: The only question is whether Jesus or global warming will get here first.”

That’s how Mathew Barrett Gross, co-author of The Last Myth: What the Rise of Apocalyptic Teaching Tells Us About America introduces the short video ‘America’s Fascination with the Apocalypse’. 1 

The end of the world is nigh. Or so you might think if you immersed yourself in American popular culture.

From TV adverts to Hollywood movies, depictions of post-apocalyptic worlds are everywhere.

There is a long tradition of such apocalyptic thinking in the US. But as Matthew Barrett Gross and Mel Giles argue in their book The Last Myth, it has now moved beyond religious prophecies into the secular world.

The authors also claim that activists from both the political left and right have embraced apocalypse thinking, issuing dramatic warnings that everything from the traditional American way of life to the very existence of the planet is under threat.

Barrett Gross spoke to the BBC in Utah to explain why he believes the rise of apocalyptic thinking prevents some people from trying to reach more pragmatic solutions to 21st Century problems. 2

Matthew Barrett Gross and his wife Mel Giles have teamed up to research and publish a fascinating book about the addiction of apocalypse in the American in culture. From our religious evangelical Protestant history to our pop culture, Americans have been fascinated with the end since the European colonization. But what has changed over the centuries to the current American pathos about the end? Gross and Giles, have found the idea of the end now transcends evangelical religion and has become an idea that also concerns the left and not just the far right. Some attribute these thoughts to climate change, many feel that it comes from the economy, or the fact is that the American Century has peaked.

With in a years time span Americans have been soaking up entertainment and new of the apocalypse. The 2012 Super Bowl was highlighted by a truck ad that predicted the future as bleak and inhospitable. With in the realm of film and television, there has been the Hunger Games, a reality show's about people prepping for the doomsday.

The Last Myth explores a question that we rarely ask as we sit enthralled by the latest apocalyptic piece of entertainment: what if our current fascination with the apocalypse actually means something? And what might we do to move beyond apocalyptic thinking and embrace the future. 3

Source 1: Disinformation / Apocalyptic Thinking in American Culture
Source 2: BBC / America's fascination with the apocalypse
Author: David Eckenrode / BBC
Source 3: David Eckenrode / Vimeo


  1. Bible is holy no doubt. But remember , Holy Bible Bible can be interpreted correctly and in its true spirit by an holy person. Any person who is not holy may probably be prone to its erroneous interpretation. Let us understand the meaning of holy person. Simply put, one whose human nature has not been transformed into divine nature or nature of Lord Jesus Christ is not a holy person. He or she may be called attempting to be holy if they are hearing or studying Bible.

  2. This writer has tried to understand Holy Bible , Holy Geeta or Vedas in India , Holy Qouran and other more faiths, and found that the path for reaching out to the God or truth is the same. There is a need to understand first ourself and then the world around us and then the Lord. The more clarity we have , better chances of transformation of mind. Faith depends upon acceptance. And acceptance requires clarity having no doubt.