Armageddon in Christian, Sunni, and Shia Traditions

Michael A. Sells

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199759996
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Armageddon in Christian, Sunni, and Shia Traditions

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This chapter, which looks at the actual or alleged cases of apocalypticism within contemporary Iranian Shi'ite, Saudi Sunni, and American Christian circles, evaluates the issue of contemporary militant apocalypticism, emphasizing the competition between its American Christian and Islamic versions. The hadith collections present contradictory reports regarding the end-time struggle between the Messiah Jesus and Dajjal. Militant near-term apocalypticism summons the power of religion, imagination, and personal conviction against any serious peace endeavor; demonizes those who work toward such endeavors; and sanctifies those who, once the tribulation or endtimes conflict is underway, kill the peacemakers. The apocalyptic messianism of American dispensationalists, and of the Salafi Sunni figures Safar al-Hawali and Ali al-Timimi, feature scenarios of Middle Eastern and global carnage ending with messianic triumph and theologically grounded rejection of Middle East peacemaking.

Keywords: militant apocalypticism; Iranian Shi'ite; Saudi Sunni; American Christian; Islamic versions; apocalyptic messianism; Safar al-Hawali; Ali al-Timimi

Article.  15106 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Comparative Religion ; Islam ; Christianity

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