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WEDNESDAY

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Every doomsayer, from the survivalist preparing for Y2K to the Rastafarian awaiting the inevitable fall of Babylon, finds validation in the Book of Revelation. A popular literary form of the early Christian era, a revelation—”apocalypse” in Greek—is a symbolic vision of supernatural events. Whether or not you’ve read John’s, you probably know its imagery; it’s the stuff of horror films and heavy metal: the Seven Seals, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Number of the Beast. Sorry to give it away, but it ends with Satan and sinners alike being cast into a burning lake. Tonight, the Rev. Frederick Schmidt offers a nicer way of reading this most Old Testament of New Testament books, as a cautionary tale. In his lecture “The Book: Strange Texts and Stranger Times,” Schmidt will explore his vision through examinations of both the biblical text and movies such as The Omen, Armageddon, and The Wizard of Oz. At 7:30 p.m. at Washington National Cathedral’s Perry Auditorium, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. $12. For reservations call (202) 537-2221. (Mark W. Sullivan)