Illustration for article titled What do the covers of the Left Behind series say about modernity?

I've never read the Rapturey Left Behind series, but from what I understand, a whole bunch of nice, pious people are abducted by God and the rest of us grubbers have to slum it on Earth with Kirk Cameron.


Will Wlizlo has trundled through the series. Over at The Eschatologist, he discusses how the recent revamp of Left Behind book covers reflects new 21st century fears:

Is it easier to imagine the apocalypse in our own world or in a fantastical sci-fi universe? Answers to that question are likely different for everyone, based on their own religious beliefs and imaginary capacity. I mentioned before that the new covers are photorealistic, whereas the old covers are often supernatural illustrations. Meteors rocket past the moon on the old cover of Tribulation Force, while young soldiers await battle perched atop tank artillery on the new cover. Photography bases the plot of Left Behind more firmly in our own universe, rather than a fictional one–a simple image gives a shred of credence to the unbelievable story. Ours is a time steeped in apocalypticism–with wracking earthquakes and failing reactors, with 2012 right around the corner–thus making it harder for one particular eschatology to stand out from the next. When LaHaye and Jenkins first published in 1995, they had the only game in town. That's no longer the case.


You can read Wlizlo's analysis at The Eschatologist.

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