New publication from one of the CenSAMM Academic Directors:
James Crossley, “The Apocalypse and Political Discourse in an Age of COVID,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 44 (2021), pp. 93–111
It was almost inevitable that something as dominant as the COVID crisis of 2020–2021 would change how the Bible has been understood in mainstream political discourses. It is also unsurprising that the language associated with apocalypticism would come to the fore. Building on recent scholarship, this article looks at some of the language about ‘the apocalypse’ and apocalypticism, including that associated with Revelation and the New Testament, and how understandings of the Bible in contemporary political discourses have now been updated. The focus is primarily on England/Britain, America and New Zealand because these countries have been the object of much of the work on the reception history of the Bible in politics. This article also analyses the dominant cliches about the Bible as a source of liberalism, neoliberalism, left-leaning radicalism, and the far right. Examples include the use of apocalyptic themes in relation to QAnon and conspiracy theories, ready-made ironic language to describe lockdown, radical social transformation, and constructing political positions outside the traditional liberal consensus.