September 14th, 2013
01:06 PM ET
World-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain returns for the second season of CNN's showcase for coverage of food and travel. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" is shot entirely on location and premieres Sept 15 at 9pm ET/PT. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook. Bourdain's first stop: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
Opinion by Richard Hect, special to CNN
JERUSALEM (CNN) – Perhaps the most repeated observation about Jerusalem is that it's a sacred city for the three monotheistic faiths of the west, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Hundreds of tour guides tell it to the busloads of tourists brought to the city each day. Journalists who have to file stories from and about Jerusalem will use this description in their leads.
But what does that observation really mean? What does it mean to call a place, a city sacred?
Of course, this immediately refers to sites and buildings which contain and make concrete the sacred or the holy. In Jerusalem, there are literally hundreds of these containers, some better known than others.
One can immediately think of the Western Wall for the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Garden Tomb for Christians, or the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque for Islam.
May 16th, 2013
07:00 AM ET
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) - Dealing with a struggling radio business – this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. By all his calculations, Harold Camping expected to be nearly two years into his Rapture revelry, hanging in heaven with God and the select others who’d been saved.
But when his predicted and vastly promoted May 21, 2011, Day of Rapture came and went, and the end of the world on October 21, 2011, didn’t pan out either, Camping lost his doomsday mojo. It didn’t help that he had another knock against him, having made a similar failed prophecy back in 1994.
March 31st, 2012
10:00 PM ET
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) – The anti-Christ. The Battle of Armageddon. The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
You don’t have to be a student of religion to recognize references from the Book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible has fascinated readers for centuries. People who don’t even follow religion are nonetheless familiar with figures and images from Revelation.
And why not? No other New Testament book reads like Revelation. The book virtually drips with blood and reeks of sulfur. At the center of this final battle between good and evil is an action-hero-like Jesus, who is in no mood to turn the other cheek.
Elaine Pagels, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, first read Revelation as a teenager. She read it again in writing her latest book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation.”
October 28th, 2011
10:12 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) - The Christian radio broadcasting network that touted Harold Camping's failed doomsday predictions may be getting out of the prophecy business, adopting what appears to be a vaguer vision of the end times.
"We are to live so that we are ready for the return of Christ, and even pray for it," according to a Family Radio statement obtained by The Christian Post. "But we also rejoice in every new day, that we've been given another day to occupy and serve our Lord."
Family Radio, which Camping founded in 1958, had posted an explainer detailing why Camping's prediction that May 21 would be the beginning of the end didn't come to pass.
October 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – In case you are reading this, might we suggest you read really fast?
The world may end any minute now, if the latest doomsday prediction is on target.
We realize October 21 didn’t get the shout-out that May 21 did, so our apologies if this comes as a surprise. But if you had heard the complete message the first time, you would have known.
“The warning is out,” Dennis Morrell, 44, of Jacksonville, Florida, reminded us a couple of days ago. “There’s nothing else you can do.”
September 23rd, 2011
06:00 AM ET
By Todd Leopold, CNN
(CNN) - Stories of the Rapture usually come accompanied with the operatic drama of bright lights, doomy thunder and the echoing hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen as the world awaits the inevitable apocalypse.
Author Tom Perrotta prefers a little quiet.
In his new novel “The Leftovers” (St. Martin’s), the bestselling author of “Little Children” and “Election” follows a group left behind after something called the “Sudden Departure,” a Rapture-like event in which millions of people suddenly vanished like smoke.
Kevin Garvey is the mayor of Mapleton; his family was left physically intact but psychologically frayed. Nora Durst, on the other hand, lost her husband and children and still hasn’t recovered.
Some characters retreat into cult-like groups. One group, the Guilty Remnant, haunts the living and awaits the end; another, the Holy Wayners, is led by a charismatic hugger who loses his bearings.
Then there’s a local preacher, Matt Jamison, who insists that what happened couldn’t be the Rapture because it claimed flawed humans of all faiths and ethnicities. “I should’ve been first in line,” he insists, while compiling dossiers of the departed’s faults.
Listen to a clip of the audiobook, courtesy Macmillan Audio:
Perrotta talked to CNN about the book, his own faith and putting himself in others’ shoes. Here’s an edited transcript of the interview.
June 13th, 2011
04:41 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - Harold Camping, the leader of the apocalyptic movement that predicted the end of the world would begin on May 21, has suffered a stroke, according to a statement on his ministry's web site on Tuesday.
Camping suffered a "mild stroke" last Thursday, according to the statement posted on the website of Family Radio, Camping's California-based broadcast ministry.
"Mr. Camping is receiving excellent care, and the doctors treating him are encouraged with the progress he is making," the statement said. "Mr. Camping's family appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers."
May 25th, 2011
09:49 PM ET
This week's Belief Blog story on doomsday leader Harold Camping claiming he still expects the world to end on October 21, even after the apocalyptic events he predicted for Saturday failed to materialize, fetched nearly 5,000 comments.
Lots of you left tongue-in-cheek ripostes to Camping's insistence that he merely misinterpreted the Bible's guidance about Judgement Day:
May 23rd, 2011
05:04 PM ET
By Kim Hutcherson and Dan Gilgoff, CNN
(CNN) – Harold Camping is sticking to his apocalyptic guns.
In his first radio broadcast since his doomsday prediction failed to pan out in a spectacularly public fashion, the California preacher insisted his was an error of interpretation, not fact.
What's more, he has another calculation for the day the world will end - October 21, 2011.
May 22nd, 2011
03:07 PM ET
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – Theirs had been an unwavering belief, the sort that inspired some to quit jobs, leave their homes and walk away from family and friends to issue a doomsday warning.
Without question, they believed May 21 would be the day that Jesus Christ would return and rapture them - and a select 2 to 3 percent of the world’s population - up to heaven. Everyone left behind would be on a crash course to final destruction, scheduled for October 21.
But now it’s May 22.
The sun rose, birds are singing and life as we know it continues. Those anticipated earthquakes that the May 21 doomsdayers said would ravage the earth on Saturday at 6 p.m. in each of the world's time zones never came.
And the faithful believers - who said the Bible guaranteed this day - are still here, trying to make sense of it all.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.