The University of Chicago News Office
October 18, 1996 Press Contact: Josh Schonwald
(773) 702-6421

Apocalypticism Conference: Nov. 3 through Nov. 5

Is the end of the world at hand?

Some people think so. A conference at the University of Chicago will explore the idea of apocalypticism and its role in Western culture.

“Apocalypticism has played a major role in the three Western monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” said Bernard McGinn, the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor in the University of Chicago Divinity School. “I believe that it is one of the most important religious themes in Western history.

“There is also a lot of secular apocalypticism in our society–the criticism of technology run rampant, the belief that the world will be destroyed in a short time if we don’t change our ways.”

McGinn, along with University of Chicago Professor of Hebrew Bible John J. Collins and Stephen J. Stein, Chancellors’ Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, are the editors of the Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, a three-volume series to be published in late 1998 that explores the many different aspects of apocalypticism. This work-in-progress will be previewed in the conference “Apocalypticism: On the Eve of the New Millennium,” to be held Sunday, Nov. 3, through Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Swift Lecture Hall on the University of Chicago campus.

The conference will feature presentations by many of the scholars engaged in the Encyclopedia of Apocalypticismproject, including Said Arjomand, professor of sociology of religion at SUNY-Stony Brook; James Moorhead, professor of American religious history at Princeton Theological Seminary; and Avi Ravitzky, professor of Jewish thought at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion that includes Martin Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Divinity School; and Stephen O’Leary, University of Southern California.

“Apocalypticism: On the Eve of the New Millennium” is free and open to the public. For a schedule of lectures or more information, call (773) 702-7170.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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