DECONSTRUCTION: Episcopal priest Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) is driven to prove that the vanished were not part of a Rapture. © 2014 HBO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Those left behind

Mainstream popular culture tends to prefer human-made cataclysms to the biblical variety. We love to be entertained by portrayals of environmental disasters, viruses unleashed by unethical experimentation, or aliens swooping in to take advantage of our shoddy management of Earth. But there’s little room for good old-fashioned divine intervention.

This might be changing. The new Noah movie and the coming remake of the Left Behind series, starring Nicholas Cage, put a divine agent front and center, and the new HBO drama The Leftovers breathes an air of supernatural mystery into the genre. God is not present directly, but the disaster that befalls humankind has a biblical ring to it.


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