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The Religious Right came to prominence in the early 1980s, but it was born during the early Cold War. Evangelical leaders like Billy Graham, driven by a fierce opposition to communism, led evangelicals out of the political wilderness they'd inhabited since the Scopes trial and into a much more active engagement with the important issues of the day. How did the conservative evangelical culture move into the political mainstream? Angela Lahr seeks to answer this important question. She shows how evangelicals, who had felt marginalized by American culture, drew upon their eschatological belief in the Second Coming of Christ and a subsequent glorious millennium to find common cause with more mainstream Americans who also feared a a 'soon-coming end,' albeit from nuclear war. In the early postwar climate of nuclear fear and anticommunism, the apocalyptic eschatology of premillennial dispensationalism embraced by many evangelicals meshed very well with the "secular apocalyptic" mood of a society equally terrified of the Bomb and of communism. She argues that the development of the bomb, the creation of the state of Israel, and the Cuban Missile Crisis combined with evangelical end-times theology to shape conservative evangelical political identity and to influence secular views. Millennial beliefs influenced evangelical interpretation of these events, repeatedly energized evangelical efforts, and helped evangelicals view themselves and be viewed by others as a vital and legitimate segment of American culture, even when it raised its voice in sharp criticism of aspects of that culture. Conservative Protestants were able to take advantage of this situation to carve out a new space for their subculture within the national arena. The greater legitimacy that evangelicals gained in the early Cold War provided the foundation of a power-base in the national political culture that the religious right would draw on in the late seventies and early eighties. The result, she demonstrates, was the alliance of religious and political conservatives that holds power today.
Americans and Europeans perceive threat differently. Americans remain more religious than Europeans and generally still believe their nation is providentially blessed. American security culture is relatively stable and includes the deeply held belief that existential threat in the world emanates from the work of evil-doers. The US must therefore sometimes intervene militarily against evil. The European Union (EU) security culture model differs from traditional European iterations and from the American variant. The concept of threat as evil lost salience as Western Europe became more secularist. Threats became problems to manage and resolve. The upsurge in anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiment in the midst of economic crisis undermines this model.
Apocalypticism arose in ancient Judaism in the last centuries BCE and played a crucial role in the rise of Christianity. It is not only of historical interest: there has been a growing awareness, especially since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, of the prevalence of apocalyptic beliefs in the contemporary world. To understand these beliefs, it is necessary to appreciate their complex roots in the ancient world, and the multi-faceted character of the phenomenon of apocalypticism. The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature is a thematic and phenomenological exploration of apocalypticism in the Judaic and Christian traditions. Most of the volume is devoted to the apocalyptic literature of antiquity. Essays explore the relationship between apocalypticism and prophecy, wisdom and mysticism; the social function of apocalypticism and its role as resistance literature; apocalyptic rhetoric from both historical and postmodern perspectives; and apocalyptic theology, focusing on phenomena of determinism and dualism and exploring apocalyptic theology's role in ancient Judaism, early Christianity, and Gnosticism. The final chapters of the volume are devoted to the appropriation of apocalypticism in the modern world, reviewing the role of apocalypticism in contemporary Judaism and Christianity, and more broadly in popular culture, addressing the increasingly studied relation between apocalypticism and violence, and discussing the relationship between apocalypticism and trauma, which speaks to the underlying causes of the popularity of apocalyptic beliefs. This volume will further the understanding of a vital religious phenomenon too often dismissed as alien and irrational by secular western society.
Unravelling the genealogies and permutations of conspiracist worldviews, this work shows how this web of urban legends has spread among sub-cultures on the Internet and through mass media, and how this phenomenon relates to larger changes in American culture.

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