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Waiting for AntichristCharisma and Apocalypse in a Pentecostal Church$
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Damian Thompson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195178562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195178564.001.0001

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Living with the End

Living with the End

(p.83) 5 Living with the End
Waiting for Antichrist

Damian Thompson

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the different strategies used by leaders and members of Kensington Temple with regard to the subject of the End Times. It examines the “official” treatment of apocalyptic doctrines in sermons and Bible classes, and the “unofficial” material sold in the church bookshop. At both levels, there is evidence that the transmission of millenarian ideas is affected by the personal dispositions of pastors and church employees, many of whom find this a difficult area to manage. Drawing on interviews with ordinary church members and survey data, the different strategies employed by worshippers in dealing with potentially troublesome apocalyptic ideas are examined. These include a policy of ignoring them, a focus on explanatory rather than predictive motifs, and the use of language that reduces millenarianism to the unthreatening proportions of a professional discourse.

Keywords:   Kensington Temple, End Times, apocalyptic belief, millenarianism

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