a book and a candle

A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: This was conducted via email with six scholars over several weeks in September 1999.  The scholars were: Michael Barkun, Paul Boyer, Eugene Gallagher, Richard Landes, Stephen O'Leary and Catherine Wessinger
First Round of Questions:
Apocalyptic beliefs have proven remarkably resilient over time. What makes them so adaptable? What tends to trigger apocalyptic movements? Can you think of some specific examples which demonstrate the ingenuity people have shown in shaping systems which suit their particular circumstances? Finally, does apocalyptic faith address some basic human psychological or emotional needs?
Second Round:
Is there a particular American fascination with apocalypticism? And, if so, why?
Third Round:
What's unique about our current time period here on the cusp of the year 2000? How are millennial or apocalyptic expectations different today than in general, or at past millennial markers? Finally, what do you expect to happen as we cross the 2000 threshold in several weeks--what might we be reading or seeing in the news?
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