Chapter

Living with 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/10.1093/0195178564.003.0005
 Living with the End

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This chapter explores the different strategies used by leaders and members of Kensington Temple with regard to the subject of the End Times. It examines the “official” treatment of apocalyptic doctrines in sermons and Bible classes, and the “unofficial” material sold in the church bookshop. At both levels, there is evidence that the transmission of millenarian ideas is affected by the personal dispositions of pastors and church employees, many of whom find this a difficult area to manage. Drawing on interviews with ordinary church members and survey data, the different strategies employed by worshippers in dealing with potentially troublesome apocalyptic ideas are examined. These include a policy of ignoring them, a focus on explanatory rather than predictive motifs, and the use of language that reduces millenarianism to the unthreatening proportions of a professional discourse.

Keywords: Kensington Temple; End Times; apocalyptic belief; millenarianism

Chapter.  16931 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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