PS 491-001/791-002: Millennial Dreams, Millennial Nightmares

 

Introduction

Syllabus Outline

Paper Topics

 


Readings prefixed with an asterisk (*) are intended for undergraduates; those with a double asterisk (**) are for graduate students only.

I. Introduction: The Origins of Millennial Thought, the Book of Revelation, and the Vocabulary of Apocalypse

Readings:

II. The Early Church, the Last Millennium, and Medieval Apocalyptic Movements

Readings:

III. America as Apocalypse: From New World to New Jerusalem

Readings:

 IV. Post-War America and the Twentieth Century: The Clash of New Age and New Right

Readings:

Film: "The Rapture" (1991)

V. Case Studies

A. Gender Issues in the Biblical Apocalypse: The Poles of Marian Faith and Feminist Counter-Apocalypse

Readings:

  • Michael Cuneo, The Vengeful Vision: Cases Studies in Contemporary American Catholic Apocalypticism," in Thomas Robbins, Susan J, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch. 9.
  • **Daniel Wojcik, "Apocalyptic Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in New York City," The End of the World as We Know It, ch. 4.
  • Susan Palmer, " Woman as World Savior," in Robbins, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch. 8.
  • Charles Cameron, "Princess Diana as Icon of Woman in Millennial Discourse," Center for Millennial Studies http://www.mille.org/diana.html
  • **Catherine Keller, "Gender: Silly Women of the Last Days," Apocalypse Now and Then, ch. 6.

Song: Beatles, "Let It Be"

Video: Millennium: Episode--"In Arcadia Ego"

B. Aliens in America: UFOs, Alien Abductions, the Solar Temple, and Heaven's Gate

Readings:

  • Daniel Wojcik, "Emergent Apocalyptic Beliefs about UFOs and Extraterrestrial Beings," The End of the World as We Know It, ch. 8.
  • John R. Hall and Philip Schuyler, The Mystical Apocalypse of the Solar Temple," in Robbins, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch. 15.
  • *Mark Kingwell, "The Truth is Out There," Dreams of the Millennium, ch. 6.
  • **Jodi Dean, "Fugitive Alien Truth," Aliens in America: Conspiracy Cultures from Outerspace to Cyberspace, ch. 1.
  • **John Saliba, "UFO Contactee Phenomena from a Sociopsychological Perspective: A Review," in James R. Lewis, ed., The Gods Have Landed: New Religions from Other Worlds, ch. 9.
  • Official Heaven's Gate Web site http://www.zdnet.com/yil/higher/heavensgate/index.html
  • Rick Ross Heaven's Gate Information Site: http://www.rickross.com/groups/heavensgate.html

C. Ecology and the Apocalypse

Readings:

  • M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline S. Palmer, "Millennial Ecology: The Apocalyptic Narrative from Silent Spring to Global Warming," in Carl Herndl and Stuart Brown, eds., Green Cultures: Environmental Rhetoric in Contemporary America, ch. 1.
  • **Lawrence Buell, "Environmental Apocalypticism," The Environmental Imagination, ch. 9.
  • Martha Lee, "Environmental Apocalypse: The Millenarian Ideology of 'Earth First'," in Robbins, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch. 6.

D. The Globalization of Apocalyptic Fever: The Oido Full Gospel Church and the Aum Shinrikyo Cult

Readings:

  • Thompson, The End of Time, ch. 10-11.
  • Mark R. Mullins, "Aum Shinrikyo as an Apocalyptics Movement," in Robbins, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch. 16.

 E. The Secular Apocalypse and the Militarized Millennium: Survivalism and the Militia Movement in America

Readings:

  • Philip Lamy, "Secularizing the Millennium: Survivalists, Militias, and the New World Order," in Robbins, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch. 5.
  • Philip Lamy, "Millennium Rage," Millennium Rage: Survivalists, White Supremacists, and the Doomsday Prophecy, ch. 1.
  • Michael Barkun, "Millenarians and Violence: The Case of the Christian Identity Movement," in Robbins, Palmer, and Robins, eds., Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem, ch.13.

F. Countdown to Armageddon at Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and the Recurrence of Millerite Premillennialism

Readings:

Videos:

  • WGBH Frontline: "Waco: The Inside Story"
  • The X-Files: episode--"The Field Where I Died"

VI. In/conclusion: Apocalyptic Belief as Political Resource or Political Obstacle

Readings:


Comments? Contact: Dr. Ernest J. Yanarella (ejyana@pop.uky.edu)
Copyright (c) 1998 University of Kentucky
Graphics and HTML by John Yanarella, 1998