October 6, 2007
This issue opens with an analysis by Richard Landes of the increasingly important phenomenon of conspiracy theories. He points out that such theories contain three basic elements of apocalyptic movements: they are radical revelations about an otherwise opaque present; they are part of a larger, cataclysmic, final transformation of the world; and they refer to imminent events. After World War II, Western society seemed to have marginalized conspiracy theory. Yet, at the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been an aggressive rise in (traditional) Muslim conspiracism and a remarkable vulnerability to conspiracy theory in the West.