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.
May 20th, 2011
07:32 PM ET
May 20th, 2011
04:25 PM ET
If the doomsday sayers of the Family Radio ministry are to be believed, the people of Earth are set to to meet their end on May 21, 2011. Saying farewell to one's nearest and dearest and preparing a howdy-do to to one's eternal fate is pretty grim business; might as well face it on a full stomach.
If you knew the world's end was imminent, what would you want for your last meal?
May 20th, 2011
04:17 PM ET
So many songs, so little time.
To hear it from the followers of the Christian broadcasting network Family Radio, Saturday will mark the beginning of the end. Those who’ve been selected for salvation will move on to heaven, but the rest will experience unspeakable suffering until the world ends on October 21.
With all this doomsday talk, we at CNN have been contemplating our favorite end-of-the-world songs – music to listen to as the world falls apart, if you will. Here is our top 10 list, to get the soundtrack rolling.
May 20th, 2011
10:39 AM ET
By Annalyn Censky, CNNMoney
New York (CNNMoney) - By now, you've probably heard of the religious group that's predicting the end of the world starts this weekend.
Harold Camping and his devoted followers claim a massive earthquake will mark the second coming of Jesus, or so-called Judgment Day on Saturday, May 21, ushering in a five month period of catastrophes before the world comes to a complete end in October.
At the center of it all, Camping's organization, Family Radio, is perfectly happy to take your money - and in fact, received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, Calif. with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958.
May 20th, 2011
10:31 AM ET
By Kayla Webley, Time
In a comfortable office, Bible placed firmly atop his lap, 89-year-old Harold Camping is preaching with utter certainty about the end of the world. "May 21, 2011, is the day of judgment," he says with conviction, in a YouTube video posted last year. "It is the day that ends all gospel salvation activity ... It is the most important day by a billion times than any other day the world has ever known." On that day, Camping estimates roughly 207 million people, or about 3% of the world's population, will be plucked from the earth. What will follow is five months of earthquakes and other calamities until the world officially ends on Oct. 21 of this year.
Like all who proselytize the end the world, Camping has spread his message using a small army of followers; in his case, they're supported by a substantial budget that by some estimates is more than $100 million. There have been stories in the media of families selling their homes, quitting their jobs and budgeting their finances such that by May 21 they will be left with nothing. After all, they won't need it, right? (See photos of the cinematic vision of the apocalypse.)
But Camping has been wrong before.
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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.