Accepted paper:

Banal Millenialism: images of the end of the world among Old Colony Mennonites.

Author:

Lorenzo Cañás Bottos (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Paper short abstract:

This paper applies Michael Billig’s idea of “banal” to how Old Colony Mennonites imagine the end of times, arguing that these imaginations need to be constantly produced, updated and rejected, creating a stock of constantly applicable scripts and scenarios that remain marginalized, waiting for the right time to be activated.

Paper long abstract:

Catherine Wessinger's 1997 invitation to research "millenialism without the mayhem" has hardly been taken up, and most studies of millenarisms have focused on the spectacular practices performed by those believing to be in the last days. This paper focuses on the construction of millennialism in a self defined pacifist, quiet and world rejecting groups: the Old Colony Mennonites. This paper argues, applying Michael Billig's idea of "banal" to the imagination of the end, that these need to be constantly produced, updated and rejected, creating a stock of constantly applicable scripts and scenarios that remain marginalized, waiting for the right time to be broadly accepted.

panel W013
Experiencing calamity - expressing the unthinkable