Department or Program

Religious Studies


The Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, depicts an apocalyptic end of the world full of terrifying monsters and devastating events, yet one that promises triumph and reward for those who keep the faith. Christian communities throughout history have looked to Revelation for explanations and reassurance in times of widespread catastrophe. The COVID-19 pandemic is one such time. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, I propose that Revelation functions as a “little machine” that provides useful “sockets” - in this case, key narratives about “plagues” and “the Mark of the Beast” - into which elements of the COVID-19 crisis have been “plugged” in order to generate meaning amidst chaos and uncertainty. Using my own primary ethnographic research among Baptist communities in rural Maine, along with close readings of social media posts and related sources, I argue that, for Evangelical Christian communities in the U.S., COVID-19 is so much more than a disease: it is a tool for making sense of the world, reinforcing a faith-based identity, and offering comfort, assurance, and a sense of righteous empowerment within a sacred apocalyptic framework.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Baker, Cynthia

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.