Seminar, Environmental History Seminar, Online Event

Earthquakes and End Times: Global Disasters and Apocalyptical Predictions in the Early Modern English Atlantic

Author: Jennifer Egloff, NYU Shanghai
Comment: Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College

Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 5:00PM - 6:15PM

This is an online event.

Throughout early modern Europe and the Atlantic World, individuals recorded details of earthquakes in diaries and letters, contemplated meanings in sermons, and learned about distant disasters via broadsides and pamphlets. Highlighting the contemporary providential worldview, this paper argues that numbers contained in earthquake reports were particularly significant. By recording precisely when earthquakes occurred—and making correlations with distant earthquakes—individuals interpreted God’s messages apocalyptically, arguing that particular earthquakes correlated with those described in Revelation. Some people combined this with additional chronological information to predict when Judgment Day would occur. This paper explores the extent to which New Englanders were unique in their providential and apocalyptical interpretations of global disasters, compared to their Atlantic counterparts.

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Online Event

The virtual seminar begins at 5:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.