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The Paranoid ApocalypseA Hundred-Year Retrospective on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion$
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Richard Landes and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748923

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748923.001.0001

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“The Antichrist as an Imminent Political Possibility”

“The Antichrist as an Imminent Political Possibility”

Sergei Nilus and the Apocalyptical Reading of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

(p.79) 6 “The Antichrist as an Imminent Political Possibility”
The Paranoid Apocalypse

Michael Hagemeister

NYU Press

This chapter highlights the role that the Russian Sergei Nilus played in framing the Protocols in a religious and apocalyptic discourse. Nilus, for a long time, was not a religious man, but eventually he “succumbed to the apocalyptic mood that was that was taking hold of the country.” Rising to prominence with his historical writings (both his own and epigraphic), Nilus had a broad antimodern reading public that relished “Doomsday scenarios” as the answer to revolution brought on by Jews and Freemasons—henchmen of the Antichrist. Indeed, as Nilus presented it, the text was an apocalypse, a revelation: its publication revealed the workings of Paul's katéchon (the mystery of lawlessness), and the text sounded the alarm at the imminent appearance of Antichrist.

Keywords:   Sergei Nilus, apocalyptic discourse, Antichrist, Doomsday scenarios, katéchon

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