End of Days

An Encyclopedia of the Apocalypse in World Religions

by Wendell G. Johnson, Editor


The concept of—and belief in—apocalyptic events is common to many religions and cultures across the globe.

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July 2017


Pages 381
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/Comparative
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Covering religious traditions ranging from Buddhism to Christianity to Zoroastrianism and modern apocalyptic movements such as Arun Shinrikyo and the Branch Davidians, this book addresses prophesied end of days from a breadth of perspectives and includes material on often-neglected themes and genres.

End of Days: An Encyclopedia of the Apocalypse in World Religions describes apocalyptic writings in the world's major religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The cross-referenced entries address ancient traditions—Zoroastrianism, as one example—as well as modern apocalyptic movements, such as Arun Shinrikyo, the Branch Davidians, and the Order of the Solar Temple.

This book's broad scope offers coverage of overlooked traditions, such as Mayan Apocalyptic, Norse Apocalyptic, Native American eschatological literatures, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Readers seeking detailed information on the eschatological and apocalyptic movements and proponents of End Times can reference entries about individuals such as Harold Camping, Jerry Falwell, David Koresh of the Brand Davidians, and James Jones and the People's Temple.

This single-volume encyclopedia also contains numerous historical entries on subjects such as the Great Disappointment, the Great Awakening periods of religious revival, Joachim of Flora, the Maccabean Revolt, and the Plymouth Brethren. The influence of apocalyptic ideas far outside the realm of religion itself is documented through entries on film, including well-known modern movies such as The Hunger Games and Apocalypse Now, literature by writers such as Dante, and works of fine art like Wagner's Götterdämmerung. The inclusion of entries related to literature, film, and other art forms further attests to the wide-ranging social influence of belief in the end of days.


  • Provides readers with an overview of apocalyptic themes in the world's religious traditions as well as detailed explanations of particular apocalyptic phenomena
  • Places popular apocalyptic motifs within the historical context of apocalyptic literature
  • Enables a more complete appreciation and understanding of the presence of apocalyptic material in popular culture, literature, and fine arts
  • Presents information in a single volume that will serve researchers in public libraries, community college learning resource centers, and college and university libraries
Author Info

Wendell G. Johnson, PhD, EdD, is head of reference and research at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. He was formerly the general editor of the refereed journal Community & Junior College Libraries. He has contributed to numerous ABC-CLIO publications, including Chinese Americans: The History and Culture of a People and the forthcoming books African Religions: Beliefs and Practices through History and Astrology: An Encyclopedia of Belief and Skepticism in the Stars and Calendars.



"Doomsday themes can be found not only in established religious traditions, cults, and new religious movements but also abound in popular culture. This single-volume work introduces an eclectic selection. . . . Appropriate for college and large public libraries."Booklist

"The broad scope of this volume—the Apocalypse in world religions—will ensure its appeal. . . . Johnson is an academic reference librarian with graduate degrees in religion; this helps to explain the thoroughness and rich detail of this valuable work. Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries. All levels."Choice

"The selection of topics covers a lot of material in one volume. It serves as a very good overview and starting point for further research and serves this purpose well."ARBAonline

"Overall, this resource is easy to use and would be of interest to most public and college libraries."Reference Reviews


2018 Outstanding Reference Source — Reference and User Services Association [RUSA]

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