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Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilizationby Frederic J., Prof. Baumgartner
Synopses & Reviews
Jonestown, Waco, and Heaven's Gate resonate in the contemporary mind in the same way that Masada or Mount Tabor resonated in the minds of others long past. The members of these movements believed that the end of the world was at hand and that they had to act through violence or suicide to ensure its occurrence. Frederic Baumgartner explores the long, often violent, history of millennialism as it has affected Western civilization. From ancient Zoroastrians to Concerned Christians of 1998, a belief in the imminent end of the world and the coming of the new age has motivated hundreds of sects and cults, some of which have burned out in an orgy of violence to become a permanent part of Western history.
Book News Annotation:
Baumgartner (history, Virginia Polytechnic Institute) explores the long history of millenialism in Western Civilization. He investigates movements as diverse as the ancient Zoroastrians and the contemporary Concerned Christians, recognizing that a common belief in the imminent end of the present world has motivated Christians throughout the centuries. He emphasizes the often violent results of millenialism, such as Jonestown and Waco, although acknowledging that not all millenial sects have resorted to violent means of bringing about the end.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From ancient Zoroastrians to Concerned Christians of 1998, a belief in the imminent end of the world and the coming of the new age has motivated hundreds of sects and cults, some of which have burned out in an orgy of violence. In this text, Professor Baumgartner explores their history.
A history of millennialism in Western civilization.
About the Author
Frederic J. Baumgartneris Professor of History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. He is the author of many books including Louis XIIand France in the Sixteenth Century.
Table of Contents
Introduction * The Jesus Cult * Early Christianity * The First Millennium * The Age of the Spirit: The High Middle Ages * The Reformation Era * The Sickle of Divine Justice: The Puritan Revolution * Millennialism in Colonial America * The Millennium of Pure Reason * The Burned-over District * From Civil War to World War * War and Rumors of War * Antichrist Has the Bomb! * From Jonestown to Waco * Bring on the Millennium!
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