GUYATT, Nicholas




Author Tags: Religion

Is the Antichrist a homosexual? Will the Tribulation finally occur if Russia attacks Israel? In his Have a Nice Doomsday, Nicholas Guyatt examines the "apocalyptic obsession" in the United States where, reportedly, there some 50 millions citizens who expect the apocalypse will occur in their lifetime. Bizarrely, these so-called True Believers in Jesus' Second Coming are mostly cheerful about the impending end of the world. Have a Nice Doomsday looks at how these believers impact the culture and politics of the world's most powerful nation, and what their influence might mean for the rest of the godforsaken world. Evangelicals have thus far snatched up more than 60 million copies of the Left Behind series of novels from two of the most popular Second Coming salesmen, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, since 1995. "The creation of the Jewish State in 1948," Guyatt writes, "provided the missing piece in the puzzle, generating the upsurge in apocalyptic belief that has propelled today's most famous Bible prophecy interpreters into the mainstream."

Born and raised in England, Nicholas Guyatt attended Cambridge and Princeton, and now teaches History at Simon Fraser University. He has written numerous books, and he contributes frequently to the London Review of Books, and the Nation Magazine.

BOOKS:

Have a Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans are Looking Forward to the End of the World (Harper Perennial, 2007) $16.50 978-0-06-115224-5

[BCBW 2008] "Religion"

Have a Nice Doomsday
Article



In November of 2007, about 35 people entered a cave in the Penza region of Russia, about 650 kilometres southeast of Moscow, convinced the world would end in May. While these folks barricaded themselves into the cave, their leader, Pyotr Kuznetsov, remained outside the cave.

After cult members threatened to blow themselves up with gas canisters if police evicted them with force, a priest specialising in apocalyptic literature was able to coax some of the sect members out of the cave before it collapsed.
Such apocalypse-minded nutters are increasingly common in Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, but they are far from abnormal on the planet.

In his fourth book, Have a Nice Doomsday (Harper $16.50), SFU history professor Nicholas Guyatt has examined the “apocalyptic obsession” in the United States where, reportedly, some 50 millions citizens are expecting the apocalypse to occur in their lifetime.

Is the Antichrist a homosexual? Will the Tribulation finally occur if Russia attacks Israel? God only knows and He’s not giving interviews to Larry King yet, so Guyatt travelled around the U.S. to discover what the apocalypse-minded in the United States are thinking and doing when they are not voting for George Bush.

It’s a literary as well as a religious movement. Evangelicals have thus far snatched up more than 60 million copies of the Left Behind series of novels from two of the most popular Second Coming salesmen, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, since 1995.

According to Guyatt, these so-called True Believers in Jesus’ Second Coming are mostly cheerful about the impending end of the world.
Have a Nice Doomsday also looks at how these believers impact the culture and politics of the world’s most powerful nation, and what their influence might mean for the rest of the godforsaken world.

“The creation of the Jewish State in 1948,” Guyatt writes, “provided the missing piece in the puzzle, generating the upsurge in apocalyptic belief that has propelled today’s most famous Bible prophecy interpreters into the mainstream.”

[BCBW 2008] "Religion"