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Amy Binning

practitioners, and the American religious and temporal landscape, that is, through the affective experience of narratives of preparedness, disaster, and decline. Buddhism's prophecies of decline—common across nearly all schools—place our current moment on a

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Joseph Webster

In Gamrie, an Aberdeenshire fishing village home to 700 people and six millennialist Protestant churches, global warming is more than just a 'hoax': it is a demonic conspiracy that threatens to bring about the ruin of the entire human race. Such a certainty was rendered intelligible to local Christians by viewing it through the lens of dispensationalist theology brought to the village by the Plymouth Brethren. In a play on Weberian notions of disenchantment, I argue that whereas Gamrie's Christians rejected global warming as a false eschatology, and environmentalism as a false salvationist religion, supporters of the climate change agenda viewed global warming as an apocalyptic reality and environmentalism as providing salvific redemption. Both rhetorics - each engaged in a search for 'signs of the end times' - are thus millenarian.

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Shadowing Shakespeare

Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha (1980) and William Shakespeare's English History Plays (c. 1591–98)

Alex Watson

and royal succession, and featuring supernatural devices such as prophetic dreams and fulfilled prophecies. At the same time, Kurosawa creatively reworks Japanese historical sources in a manner paralleling Shakespeare's dramatisations of English

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Hope Chest

Demythologizing Girlhood in Kate Bernheimer’s Trilogy

Catriona McAra

The hope chest reveals itself to be a quiet, ambivalent, yet persistent motif in Kate Bernheimer’s trilogy, mimicking the narrative structures of the novels in terms of memory and prophecy. Like the contemporaneous hope chests of Dorothea Tanning

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Helmut Norpoth and Thomas Gschwend

Picking winners in electoral contests is a popular sport in Germany,

as in many places elsewhere. During the 2002 campaign for the

Bundestag, pre-election polls tracked the horse race of party support

almost daily. Election junkies were invited to enter online sweepstakes.

They could also bet real money, albeit in limited quantity, on

the parties’ fortunes on WAHL$TREET, a mock stock market run

by Die Zeit and other media. As usual, election night witnessed the

race of the networks to project the winner the second the polls

where voters had cast their ballots closed. But in 2002, there was

also one newcomer in the business of electoral prophecy: a statistical

forecast based on insights from electoral research.

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Meira Polliack

The Jewish Sages of the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods had an ambivalent attitude towards the prophet Ezekiel, which was particularly pronounced in relation to the first chapter of his Book. The visual audacity and dexterity of this chapter, which describes Ezekiel’s call to prophecy through his vision of the heavenly chariot and throne, was compared by the Sages to Isaiah’s restrained revelation (6:1–4), in their well-known saying (Babylonian Talmud, Hagigah, 13b): ‘All that Ezekiel saw Isaiah saw. What does Ezekiel resemble? A villager who saw the king. And what does Isaiah resemble? A townsman who saw the king’.

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Introduction

Ends and Beginnings

Ruy Blanes and Simon Coleman

The fact that you are reading these lines indicates that (1) issue number 4 of Advances in Research: Religion and Society has been published; and that (2) the world did not end, as expected by some, in December 2012. The buzz surrounding the Mayan calendar seemed for us as editors to be an appropriate pretext to conjure a debate concerning the intersection of religion and environmental apocalypticism. The four contributions to this debate reflect, in a critical and engaged fashion, on such intersections and their mediatization. Anna Fedele takes the Mayan calendar controversy as a starting point to argue for a history of apocalyptic prophecies in Western New Age and spiritual movements, in which prophetic success or failure have not depended on empirical confirmations. Terry Leahy draws on his research in Newcastle, Australia, to explain that apocalypticism is not exclusive to religious movements, and in fact circulates in different scientific and political spheres. Stefan Skrimshire also pursues this argument, moving beyond the caricature-filled debates between so-called latter-day prophets who campaign on environmental issues and the political orientations of environmental skeptics, and using this approach to decouple apocalypticism and prophecy. Peter Rudiak-Gould, in turn, explores cataclysmic apocalypse narratives in the context of wider expectations of moral and political change, both within and beyond the religious discourse of sin and repentance. All contributions in this section portray logics and contexts of environmental apocalypticism in sketches that overlap but also exceed religious spheres.

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Jon Bialecki

For Southern Californian members of the Vineyard network of charismatic churches, character is a gift of God, traits bequested on them that are equal in dignity and importance to the classical divine gifts such as tongues, prophecy, healing or casting out demons. The chief difference is that these more classical gifts are not about gaining or valuing character traits, but about submission to God, and therefore are as much moments of character's erasure as they are of elaboration. And both forms of character, as perduring divine gift or as an ascetically earned moral character shaped through submission, help believers understand character in a third sense: as their being participants, and therefore personages, in the wider Gospel narrative of cosmic salvation.

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Mark L. Solomon

Of the many strange, symbolic acts performed or described by the prophets of Israel, surely the most scandalous was the marriage of Hosea. For us, the scandal probably lies mainly in the way Hosea seems to have treated his wife and children – using those under his care and control as a theological object-lesson, giving his children horrible names, and possibly, depending how we read the prophecies in chapter 2, subjecting his wife to violent humiliation. For ancient and medieval authors, however, the scandal lay elsewhere – in the idea of a prophet marrying a woman of low character and, even worse, of God ordering him to do so. Classical rabbinic literature, broadly speaking, contains three responses to this scandal.