Thursday, October 13, 2011
This is where I, as an historian, need to be a bit careful. In the Times, I wrote that throughout the twentieth century, when we have a so-called liberal president, there seems to be a rise in apocalyptic thinking among evangelicals on the heels of that. We had Roosevelt and a major rise in apocalyptic thinking. Then it sort of subsides until the 1960s, as things get crazy with the student movements, with Vietnam, we then see a rise again in apocalyptic thinking, especially in response to the Great Society. The symbol of that, for me, is the publication in 1970 of Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth, which was the best-selling nonfiction book of the decade. And then it subsides in the 1980s and 1990s, but then during the Clinton years Tim LaHaye publishes the novel Left Behind, which became another insane phenomenon. The whole series revolved around the scenario I outlined earlier: the Rapture, the Tribulation, the rise of the Antichrist, the Battle of Armageddon, the Second Coming. But it subsides a bit during the Bush administration ...
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The historical method inevitably moves us toward greater degrees of critical awareness not only about societies of the past, but of the present as well.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
The conference was held in the 16th century Palace of the Inquisition, which housed accused heretics as they waited trial. The Plaza of Santo Domingo is across the street. Those condemned were burned in this square – at least until too many people complained about the smell and they subsequently moved the burn site outside the city limits.