The End of the World, in 1997


The end of the world can’t come fast enough, according to some. For Rabbi Neil Gillman, a biblical scholar at New York Theological Seminary, he’s “sick and tired of leaving [the end of the world] in the hands of the crazies.”

To many, Gillman said, discussing the end of the world has become taboo due to the endless number of “crazies” who talk and obsess over the end. “But there’s nothing crazy or frivolous about discussing the end of the world,” a November 1997 JT article titled “Out of Time” assured readers.

According to Gillman, mainstream Judaism and Christianity lay out both the creation and the end of time. The study of the end of time, commonly called eschatology, is fundamental to people’s understanding of who and where they are. “With a beginning and an end in place, I know where I am,” Gillman said.

Gillman’s talk, attended by more than 200 people, was part of a series hosted by the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies (now called the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies) about Christian and Jewish views for the future. Now that the future has, in some ways, arrived, what do you think about the end of time?


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