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Apocalyptic beliefs in Christianity have endured for two thousand years and on occasion have motivated and justified radical and even revolutionary collective action (Boyer 1992). Why apocalyptic visions are part of some Christians' belief system is grounded in their beliefs about the end times, or eschatologies, that shape church cultures and subsequent behaviors. This paper considers cultural aspects of collective action, applying the concept of frames that give events meaning and inspire and legitimize collective behavior to Christian church responses to Y2K as a recent example of an anticipated apocalyptic event. Five interpretive frames linking eschatological ideation with specific collective behaviors are identified and discussed, as well as three corresponding strategic responses to Y2K that were taken by various kinds of Protestant Christian churches as they prepared for the ushering in of a new millennium.


Originally published in Sociology of Religion, Volume 62, Issue 2, Summer 2001, Pages 205–220,

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