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Plotting ApocalypseReading, Agency, and Identity in the Left Behind Series$
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Jennie Chapman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617039034

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617039034.001.0001

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. Cracking the Prophecy Code

. Cracking the Prophecy Code

Reading as an Act of Agency

(p.21) 1. Cracking the Prophecy Code
Plotting Apocalypse

Jennie Chapman

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter sets out the monograph’s central thesis: that acts of reading and interpretation (both of scripture and the social, cultural, economic and environmental ‘signs of the times’ that presage the coming apocalypse) are not only intimately connected to evangelical identity, but are also crucial sites of personal agency. In a predetermined world in which history has been written in advance and cannot be altered by human will, the capacity to read, interpret, and anticipate the future becomes a means of acquiring agency. Thus, prophetic knowledge becomes a unique form of empowerment. However, the individual exercise of interpretive agency is carefully regulated by the religious community at large: contemporary prophecy experts, such as LaHaye and Jenkins, seek to police the interpretive activities of their readership by only sanctioning specific readings of prophecy which they deem correct.

Keywords:   Reading, Prophetic knowledge, Identity, Interpretation, Individualism

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