The Americanization of the Apocalypse
audiobook (Unabridged) ∣ Creating America's Own Bible
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The Scofield Reference Bible was the product of Dispensationalism, which offered a new way of reading the Bible, one that focused attention squarely on the end-times. That scripture would later become a core text of America's white Christian nationalism. In The Americanization of the Apocalypse Donald Harman Akenson examines the creation and spread of Dispensationalism. The story is a transnational one: created in southern Ireland by evangelical Anglicans, who were terrified by the rise of Catholicism, then transferred to England, where it was expanded upon and next carried to British North America by "Brethren" missionaries, and then subsequently embraced by American evangelicals. Akenson combines a respect for individual human agency with an equal recognition of the complex and persuasive ideational system that apocalyptic Dispensationalism presented. For believers, the system explained the world and its future. For the wider culture, the product of this rich evolution was a series of concepts that became part of the everyday vocabulary of American life: end-times, apocalypse, Second Coming, Rapture, and millennium. The Americanization of the Apocalypse is the first book to document, using direct archival evidence, the invention of the epochal Scofield Reference Bible, and thus the provenance of modern American evangelicalism.