Affective Apocalypses and Millennial Well-Being
18/08/2016 - 19/08/2016
9:00AM - 4:00PM
0G/074 Lanyon Building, Queen's University Belfast
We live in an era driven by new forms of apocalypticism; religious fundamentalism, New World Order conspiracy belief, run-away climate change, post-humanism – all these produce intensified debates about our own imminent end.
What, in this context, is the connection between millennialism, affect, and well-being?
Popular stereotypes of millennial religion often assume such groups are motivated by psychologically and physiologically harmful ‘anxieties’ about present decline and future destruction. Yet, many millennial groups explicitly claim that their beliefs and practices create healthy minds and healthy bodies – as well as healthy souls. For the 3HO movement, being ‘holy’ is inextricably linked to being ‘happy’ and ‘healthy’ – attitudes that also find resonances among some millennial expressions of the ‘Prosperity Gospel’. Yet, the picture remains complex and contradictory. Christian and secular expressions of survivalism, for example, while seeking to safeguard human wellbeing during the impending spiritualcum-environmental apocalypse, also always run the risk of exposing members to the social, psychological, and economic traumas of ‘failed prophecy’, as experienced by Harold Camping’s Family Radio group in 2011.
This free two-day workshop welcomes all to explore the affective power of religious and secular apocalyptic thought as related to the contested notion of ‘wellbeing.’ We ask: How have human emotions – hope, resentment, anxiety, fear, pride, disillusionment – contributed to or undermined societal wellbeing within apocalyptic communities? What kinds of affective qualities do moral resentment and apocalyptic hope produce, and how do they relate to a person’s sense of physical and mental wellbeing?
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Tristan Sturm
Lecturer in Human Geography
Fellow of the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Queen's University Belfast