When news broke last weekend that the Russian Federation Council approved an invasion of Ukraine, no one watching the situation could forget that Russia has nuclear weapons and has in the past touted its willingness to use them. Now what? Would NATO forces, also nuke-equipped, challenge the Russians?
Suddenly, our old Cold War companion was back: the specter of apocalypse.
That subject has long occupied the thinking of Ira Chernus, a professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the author of the essay that you'll find here.
Chernus generally doesn't separate his church and state. "I believe it's my responsibility as a citizen to use my professional skills to speak out and try to illuminate all the current issues of the day," he tells the Indy. "Once we all gather in the public arena, in a democratic society, to talk about the direction our community and our nation should take, there's really no way to separate what I've learned about religion from the other aspects of life."
He wrote his apocalypse piece just before Ukraine unraveled, however.
"I spent hours yesterday and into last night thinking about what I want to say about it on my blog [mythicamerica.us]," he said Monday, "and one angle I might take is the complexities of the way this is, and is not, a return to the Cold War rhetoric ... although I haven't actually seen the word 'apocalyptic' in this.