Chapter

The Problem of the End

Damian Thompson

in Waiting for Antichrist

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195178562
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785070 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195178564.003.0002
 The Problem of the End

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This chapter begins with an introduction of the sociological concepts underlying this study. It suggests that people make rational choices about religion, weighing costs and benefits: they seek to avoid conflicts between belief and reality; they work on ideas until they make sense; and they are influenced by the degree of social support available for a particular belief. The second half of the chapter applies these ideas to millenarianism. Finally, it examines the association of apocalyptic belief with a broader corpus of deviant ideas, the “cultic milieu”.

Keywords: millenarianism; apocalyptic belief; religion; belief; reality

Chapter.  12686 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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