An interesting title and subject I thought to share.
Recently I was introduced to the idea that religion (Christianity in particular) was a thought system used to push public opinion towards negative worldly outlooks. The idea of rapture, final judgement and second coming of Christ has long been a philosophy of our ancestors. High priests, kings and lords would then use this fear as leverage to continue their tradition of elite rulership over the mass public. Who for fear of "the world about to end" would comply or loose interest in challenging leadership. Sounds familiar I bet.
Hopefully some scholars are on board to add to the discussion.