The Integration of Apocalyptic Conspiracy Theory in the American Conscience from Antiquity to Contemporary Times
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Contemporary American society has frequently been referred to as the “Era of Conspiracy” because of how rapidly divisive misinformation circulates through the nation and how prominent conspiracy theories are within politics. Realistically, modern conspiracy echoes tropes from Apocalyptic theory with roots as far back as the Middle Ages, and can best be understood when examining historical context, particularly through an understanding of the framework applied to the Cold War and the recycled conspiratorial tropes established during this time. In this thesis, I aim to clarify the way conspiracy operates in relation to Biblical prophecy and how it has become so deeply ingrained in the culture of the U.S. Moreover, I identify key elements which permit the maintenance of belief in conspiracy in conjunction with contemporary changes in demographics, as challenges to identity enable Manichean, in-group/out-group dynamics and the obfuscation of complex issues push people to fringe beliefs supported by semiotics and identity politics.