By Hannah Benson
At the dawn of second semester and the start of a new academic season, it’s time to hold onto hats and preconceived notions because (a discussion of) the apocalypse is coming to campus.
“Apocalyptic thought,” or ideas we find around the world and throughout history that point to the world coming to an end through violent, cataclysmic causes is the subject of a symposium coming to campus February 9-11. This biannual event brings together scholars working at the theoretical and methodical boundaries of fields that typically analyze religion, wherein Elon faculty as well as other intellectuals from Canada and the U.S. will be collaborating on a common research project about the subject.
When asked why Elon is holding this symposium, the director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society Brian Pennington said, “Elon is committed to educating the community about the role of religious ideas in society and to advancing research—by both students and faculty—about the role of religion in society.” This symposium would just be further education about this one school of thought.
Pennington says that the basic foundation for the symposium is to demonstrate to those who attend how widespread apocalyptic ideals are. With this being said, the collection of scholars that will be in attendance vary in their backgrounds from Hinduism to Christianity, with “a handful of scholars being well-versed in popular culture,” Pennington says.
The event will be held in the Numen Lumen pavilion in the academic pavilions with some events in the Moseley Campus Center, and will span from Thursday through Saturday, February 9-11.
Elon faculty members Lynn Huber, Associate Professor of religious studies, and Tom Mould, Professor of Anthropology, are the central conveners of this group of scholars. They are specialists on apocalyptic ideas. This three-day convention and conversation is the fruit of their labors.