(Fox) The world is about to end. Again. Oct. 21 is the next in a long line of apocalypses stretching back thousands of years.
This time, the prophet of doom is Harold Camping, a radio preacher who received international media attention in May when he predicted that Judgment Day would fall on May 21, followed by months of torment on Earth and an end to everything in autumn.
Judgment Day didn't bring the promised earthquakes and Rapture, but Camping now says May 21 marked a spiritual Judgment Day and that the world will still end "quietly" on Friday. It may seem odd that Camping's faith remains strong, but apocalypse experts say that doomsday prophets have often built their entire lives around their end-of-the-world views, and that worldview is hard to shake. For an elderly preacher like Camping, who suffered a stroke in June, apocalypse beliefs may also reflect his struggle with his own mortality....
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Doomsday predictions, whether secular or religious, often attract those who feel the world is unsalvageable. Sometimes the world-ending catastrophe is nuclear winter; sometimes it’s the Mayan apocalypse. But religious doomsday groups often draw on mainstream faith, said Stephen Kent, a sociologist at the University of Alberta. "Almost all apocalyptic beliefs show Christian influence," Kent told LiveScience. More