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Book of Josiah: A Novel of the Apocalypse
The Millennium is at hand! And with it, the third and final coming of the savior and rescue of the faithful from this cursed and ruined planet. This time, the community of believers will not be left behind! Or will it? The triumphal and perfectly assured body of believers, the Third Comers, the new rulers of a community that calls itself “Israel,”...
The Millennium is at hand! And with it, the third and final coming of the savior and rescue of the faithful from this cursed and ruined planet. This time, the community of believers will not be left behind! Or will it? The triumphal and perfectly assured body of believers, the Third Comers, the new rulers of a community that calls itself “Israel,” devoutly expect deliverance. They look upon the long ago atomic catastrophe (called by others the “Dissolution”) as an aborted second coming, and they seek to assure a savior’s “third coming” by forceful suppression, conversion, or destruction of all skeptics and unbelievers. But arrayed against this zealous sect is another group, the “Old Believers,” whose discipline and philosophical tradition are the legacy of an ancient teacher known as St. Supplicee. Rather than looking to a supernatural escape, the Old Believers invest their hope in strict training, rationality, and accepting the world as it is. Josiah, an Old Believer and a soldier at the very outset of his career, is swept up into the conflict of his people against the swarming Messiahist faction; he emerges as their champion and leader. To his partisans, Josiah is a hero and the last, best hope to stave off catastrophe; to his enemies, he is the catastrophe. In telling the story of his fortunes in war and revolution, in betrayal and love, Josiah recounts experiences that challenge both his own beliefs and the assumptions of his culture—and that eventually threaten his very sense of self. Externally, Josiahs story takes on epic dimensions; internally, his tale is about the bone-deep need to live in an intelligible world.
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