Millennialism: ‘The End is Nigh’

Penelope J. Corfield considers how catastrophic visions of the end of the world have recurred throughout history, in all societies and religions.

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 24:40 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England.


Scientists who research the future of the cosmos debate the possibility of a cataclysmic Big Crunch that will end everything – the inverse of the Big Bang that is the  generally favoured model of cosmic origins. However, it is hard to get personally worried about such a final prospect, which is scheduled for billions of years hence. Much more immediately alarming are the dangers of drastic climate changes. Such alterations will not affect the entire cosmos but they do threaten to make Planet Earth a hostile place for human existence. 

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