Instead of one long (and possibly laborious) thread on my current research for my scholarly monograph on Otherworldly Journeys, I’ve decided to talk about that work sporadically, here and there on the blog, over the course of the next couple of months. I would like to give a greater focus on the books I’m working on for a general audience.
As I have mentioned, I have two in view just now and am in the process of planning them. I don’t have a contract for either one yet, but hope to present the possibilities to my publisher soon. One, as I have indicated, would be on the expectation that the end is coming soon, both among many Christians but also in the secular culture at large, all based on a certain reading of the book of Revelation (the secularists usually don’t realize this!) that scholars have long found untenable. That is the one I’ll start in on here on the blog.
My normal process for coming up with a proposal for a publisher is to 1) Get the idea; 2) Do a bunch or reading on it; 3) Draft a statement for myself about how I’m imagining it; and 4) (When I’m sure how I want to propose it) Come up with an actual Prospectus for the publisher.
I have now drafted my statement for myself and would like to share it with you. It is longer than normal, since the whole idea is a bit involved. It will take probably six posts or so to present it all.
My tentative title for the book (this will certainly change) (unless the End comes first) is Expecting the Apocalypse: The Book of Revelation and Imminent End of the World. This is how I start in my self- statement (if you’ve read my book on Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet, this part will sound familiar, though none of the rest of the book will).
Toward the end of the 20th century the millennia-long fascination with the imminent end of the world grew to a fevered pitch in parts of American culture, not just among the many millions of conservative Christians who expected Jesus to return in judgment during their lifetime, but also in secular popular culture and its perennial obsession with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic film and literature.
The widespread conviction that the end may indeed be coming soon is not simply …
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