Religious Studies | Novels of the Apocalypse
R202 | 4616 | Spear
R202 Novels of the Apocalypse (Spear) (3 credits) Daily, 9:30-10:20 BH 135
Since the end of WWII, Americans have lived with the knowledge that their
government, and the government of their enemies, possess weapons of
godlike destruction. The social upheaval of the 1960's and the 1970's
took place under the shadow of nuclear holocaust and under the more
insidious threat of environmental collapse. Rather than suppress these
anxieties, apocalyptic novels fantasize the destruction of the world.
These novels warn of the destruction to come, but they often also depict a
purging devastation and the dawning of a new age.
This course will address the themes of human and divine guilt, social
order and disorder, and the tension between science and religion in
apocalyptic novels. We will contextualize these novels within particular
religious traditions and in the social issues of their time.
The readings will include popular religious prophecy: Hal Lindsey's Late,
Great Planet Earth, popular religious fiction: Earnest Angley's The
Raptured, as well as such literary classics as Walter Miller's A Canticle
for Leibowitz and Bernard Malamud's God's Grace.