127 Apocalypse Now with Father Mark Kowalewski

This podcast conversation with Fr. Mark Kowalewski, dean of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles, needs a longer introduction than usual because it might, at first, seem off-topic. But I think it’s safe to say that within the DNA of the urban homesteading, permaculture and ecological movements is a concern with how the world might end and the possibility of either hastening, postponing or avoiding the collapse of human civilization. Then there’s the fact that a significant portion of U.S. government officials believe in some form of a “rapture.”

Of course there are many divergent opinions on the nature of this end, everything from climate change, to energy depletion, to nuclear war to more fringy ideas such as near term extinction. I’ve always been interested in the stories that our cultures tell about the end of the world and what those stories say about present realities. Behind, on one end, the grim future of Mad Max, to another extreme, the techno optimist Mars colony fantasies of Silicon Valley executives is a ghost that haunts our imaginations about the end of things. That ghost, at least in the West, is John of Patmos and his hallucinatory book of Revelation.

Fr. Mark Kowalewski

I think it’s unfortunately too rare in our culture these days to consider the theological underpinning of the stories we tell. In this conversation Fr. Mark discusses everything from mainstream, orthodox views of apocalyptic literature to fundamentalist and evangelical notions of a “rapture.” We conclude with what these stories tell about our relationship to creation and to human culture. During the podcast Fr. Mark references:

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

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