Previous studies regarding failed prophecies have focused on believers responses following a failed prophecy, along with how believers rationalize and convince others of the prediction's fulfillment. The literature does not address the reaction of leaders following a failed prophecy or indicate a gendered experience within prophetic groups. This case study looks at the May 21st, 2011 rapture prediction, and subsequent failure, of Harold Camping. My research investigates new rationalizations utilized by followers and leaders of a prophetic ministry, observes the reaction of a leader towards critics, and recognizes a gendered dynamic at play within apocalyptic communities. Upon transcribing podcasts from Family Radio's 'Open Forum' radio call-in program, patterns and themes important to the followers of the ministry, as well as Camping himself emerged. I find rationalizations not present in other studies, unique responses from the prophet towards critics and followers, and gender differences amongst believers and non-believers.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Failed Prophecy, Harold Camping, Gender, Religious Groups, Apocalyptic Groups, Rationalization, Religious Belief, Rapture Prediction
Moreland, Christin L.. "Harold Camping and May 21, 2011: Rationalizations, Leader Responses, and Gender Differences Following a Failed Prophecy." (2014). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/soc_etds/33