This chapter provides a context for the book’s subsequent discussions by describing the prophecy fiction phenomenon; the culture of evangelical fiction; the origins of dispensational premillennialism; the cultural history of fundamentalism and neo-evangelicalism; and the relationship between the novels and the movements from which they emerge and which they seek to represent. The chapter also discusses the literary assumptions of prophecy fiction authors, and the wider significance of their turn to fiction: prophecy fiction emerged from a stable prophetic culture, but now increasingly attempts to make interventions in it. The chapter makes some important qualifications of the book’s project as a whole — for Writing the Rapture is not a history of a genre—and highlights the limitations of its conclusions.
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