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The 2012 Phenomenon Comes of Age

Robert K. Sitler
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
Vol. 16, No. 1 (August 2012), pp. 61-87
DOI: 10.1525/nr.2012.16.1.61
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2012.16.1.61
Page Count: 27
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The 2012 Phenomenon Comes of Age
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Abstract

This essay is an update on the “2012 phenomenon” first discussed in my article in Nova Religio 9, no. 3 (February 2006), which was the first academic assessment of the movement. Since then, this international movement has developed with remarkable speed, focusing intense and still-growing speculation on the completion of a major cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar on 21 December 2012. Various factors have accelerated the 2012 phenomenon's recent growth, including the decipherment of two ancient Mayan hieroglyphic texts that explicitly refer to the 2012 date, and the release of the Hollywood film 2012. The topic now draws serious academic analysis, and has led to far greater involvement in the 2012 phenomenon by the Maya themselves, including publication of the first books on the subject by Maya authors. This article reassesses the movement as it approaches its culmination on 21 December 2012, and presents indigenous perspectives acquired through conversations with Maya spiritual guides and elders in Guatemala and Mexico.

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