British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Annual Meeting

  • Joe Webster (Organiser)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


    Panel Title: Materiality, Secrecy, and the End of the World Paper Title: Embodied Apocalypse The Brethren communities of Scotland’s northeast coast inhabit a world that is both modern and enchanted; a state of affairs made possible due to the ways in which life as a deep sea fishermen relate to life as a millenarian Protestant. This article argues that the connection between a life at sea and life in the Brethren is a search for ‘signs of the times’ – in storms, hauls of prawns, EU fisheries legalisation, and so on – which, when taken together, collectively evidence to the Brethren the fact that the end of the world is near. More than this, by extending the eschatological observations of my informants, I want to suggest that this kind of apocalyptic sign searching can also be seen as a feature of what some social theorists – most prominent among them, Ulrich Beck (1992, 1999), Anthony Giddens (1990, 1991), Scott Lash (1999, 2002), and Zygmunt Bauman (2000) – refer to as ‘late’ or ‘liquid’ modernity, whereby, in its most radical formulation, the cosmos is effectively reduced to the size of the individual (Bauman 2001, 2002).
    Event typeConference
    LocationDurham, United Kingdom