‘Final exam’ has new meaning in ‘doomsday’ classes
When religion professor Stuart Charmé decided to teach a course on the end of the world this semester, he knew he had a compelling hook: the Dec. 21 conclusion of the “Long Count” Mayan calendar that doomsday believers have latched on to as proof that time will end.
But Charmé had no idea what the next few months would bring: the cataclysmic Hurricane Sandy, a fiscal cliff some have dubbed “debtmageddon,” and an intensifying conflict involving Israel, the place where Christian end-time theorists believe the apocalypse will commence.
“I didn’t realize this was going to be the most apocalyptic semester that has ever been,” Charmé told students at Rutgers-Camden (N.J.) University this week. “If you look at what’s been going on in the world today as we’re down to 30 days and counting, this has been a really good time. And remember that bad is good for the apocalyptically minded.”
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