Living at the End of the World by Marina Benjamin

You can imagine the scene. They’ve gone up to the top of  Tinto Hill on an evening full of expectation. Thrilling expectation, because that night is going to be The End of The World. The chosen ones (among whom they are counted in the number) are to be taken to a heavenly place in a cataclysmic event called the ‘Rapture’.

Seven hours later, bedraggled and cold in the damp morning they trudge down the path, sandwiches soggy and the hot chocolate flask empty. The disappointment must be crushing. God had not chosen to end the world – not that night anyway.

In the forthcoming weeks their pastors/priests/theologians will declare that there had been a slight misreading of Scripture. The timeline for the Apocalypse will soon be ‘re-calibrated’ and they’re sure now of the exact date. Get your house in order before it happens and share your wives and daughters with me before it does. Marina Benjamin ( investigates why so many people, throughout history, have believed fervently that their time just happens to be the run up to the Apocalypse.

Prepare to read this by listening to the R4 ‘In Our Time’ podcast (45 minutes) on the subject of the Apocalypse from the link  With Martin Palmer, theologian and Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture; Marina Benjamin, journalist and author of Living at the End of the World; Justin Champion, Reader in the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway College, University of London.

Marina Benjamin – not taken up by ‘The Rapture’, yet.

304 pages in Picador paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0330342049

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