Waiting for the Ecological Apocalypse

From New Age Millenarianism to Collapsologie in French-Speaking Europe


  • Jean Chamel Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich




Alternative spiritualities, collapse theories, apocalypticism, ecopsychology, radical environmentalism, ecovillages, deep ecology, Western Europe


In French-speaking Europe a fast-growing and increasingly visible network of ‘collapsologists’ predicts the end of our thermo-industrial civilization. Though their catastrophic expectations follow diverse scenarios in terms of temporality and harshness, they share the common feature of not anticipating the end of the world, but the end of a world opening up to a new era. Moreover, they attach great significance to inner transformation and practices of reconnection to oneself, living beings, and the whole Earth. Standing at the crossroads of ecology and alternative spiritualities, I argue that collapsologie can be interpreted as an apocalyptic resurgence, a re-apocalyptization, of the spiritual milieu, a transformation that mirrors a previous shift within the New Age from catastrophic to a progressive millennialism.


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How to Cite

Chamel, J. . (2022). Waiting for the Ecological Apocalypse: From New Age Millenarianism to Collapsologie in French-Speaking Europe. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 15(4), 441–461. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.18703