Sean O'Callaghan

Abstracts

1 Techno-Apocalypse in Christian End-Time Literature

Authors: Sean O'Callaghan

Abstract:

Around 2011/2012, a whole new genre of Christian religious writing began to emerge, focused on the role of advanced technologies, particularly the GRIN technologies (Genetics, Robotics, Information Technology and Nanotechnology), in bringing about a techno-apocalypse, leading to catastrophic events which would usher in the end of the world. This genre, at first niche, has now begun to grow in significance in many quarters of the more fundamentalist and biblically literalist branches of evangelicalism. It approaches science and technology with more than extreme skepticism. It accuses transhumanists of being in league with satanic powers and a satanic agenda and contextualizes transhumanist scientific progress in terms of its service to what it believes to be a soon to come Antichrist figure. The genre has moved beyond literature and videos about its message can be found on YouTube and other forums, where many of the presentations there get well over a quarter of a million views. This paper will examine the genre and its genesis, referring to the key figures involved in spreading the anti-intellectualist and anti-scientific message. It will demonstrate how this genre of writing is similar in many respects to other forms of apocalyptic writing which have emerged in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, all in response to both scientific and political events which are interpreted in the light of biblical prophecy. It will also set the genre in the context of a contemporary pre-occupation with conspiracy theory. The conclusions of the research conducted in this field by the author are that it does a grave disservice to both the scientific and Christian audiences which it targets, by misrepresenting scientific advances and by creating a hermeneutic of suspicion which makes it impossible for Christians to place their trust in scientific claims.

Keywords: catastrophic, Christian, antichrist, techno-apocalypse

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